Doctorate Distance Learning Degrees

Doctorate distance learning programs have been created to meet the needs of adult students who want to find employment after earning their bachelor's and master's degrees, but cannot physically attend a class every day. The flexibility designed into these programs allows students to tailor their PhD education to fit into a personal schedule. With access to the Internet, students can "take" classes any time of day or night to earn their degree. The limitations of the traditional classroom don't exist while participating in a PhD distance learning program, so there are no boundaries such as class times or semesters. This allows the student to earn a degree more quickly than students who sit in the traditional classroom.

PhDs through technology equip students with the tools they need to earn their degree with resources such as DVDs and online forums. People shouldn't make the mistake of thinking online PhDs are easier to earn than the traditional degrees where students sit under the eye of professors. Doctorate distance learning degrees have high standards to meet in order to earn this impressive degree. To earn a degree at this level, students must earn at least 30 credits beyond the master's degree. While some schools accept life and work experience as fulfilling some of the necessary credits for the degree, many require an intensive research/writing emphasis. However, if a student is committed to earning a doctorate degree the PhD distance learning program offers the opportunity to earn the degree at a personal pace.

These online degrees are available in a variety of subjects, including degrees in education, divinity and counseling. As students research the many options available to them through doctorate distance learning programs, they need to be careful to investigate the different institutions administering the degrees. Student must be aware that not all degrees in divinity are Bible based. Some sound spiritual, but upon further investigation, they are found to base truth and doctrine on higher powers and spirit guides, not the unchanging Truth of God's word. "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever" (Psalm 119:160). Once students determine which school offers the PhD distance learning program that will strengthen and affirm their core beliefs, they can look forward to a challenging and rewarding learning experience. This produces employment and ministry opportunities that were unavailable to them without their degree.

The challenges students face while earning an online PhD are different than challenges they faced while attending more structured classes in the lower level programs. Students in a PhD distance learning program need to discipline themselves to complete the work without the accountability of the classroom. They need to organize their personal schedules so there is time to complete the reading, researching and writing required in earning a doctorate degree. People who believe that there are personal advantages to moving to the next level of education and believe they have the self-discipline to complete a PhD online will find that earning a degree through a doctorate distance learning program may be the best route.

Distance learning college degree programs are being offered by many colleges in order to appeal to the student who, for a variety of reasons, cannot obtain a degree in the traditional setting. The schools offering this opportunity, if accredited, cannot be distinguished differently from a traditional college degree and therefore is a viable option for those looking to enhance their employment skills or looking to further their education. Whatever the reason, distance learning college degrees make it much more convenient to get a college degree and are becoming a popular avenue of education for students of any age and background. It is important to note that this is not a new concept, however, it recently has been given a more favorable outlook due to the increased applications in information technology. "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

These degrees can come in a variety of forms. Classes towards the degree can be taken via online or through correspondence. Textbooks are usually delivered to the student's home along with any lecture notes, audio CD's and videos. Many classes have a software component in addition to the regular class materials to stay consistent in accuracy and efficiency. During a distance learning college degree class, students are expected to participate and take exams. These exams may be open book, or they may be supervised by a pre-approved proctor. A proctor is a person chosen by the student and approved by the educational institution to administer any exams and verify the identity of the student. Proctors are usually teachers, pastors, librarians or any other professionals deemed trustworthy.

Accreditation for distance learning college degrees is especially important if a student would like their degree to be recognized. The main accreditation is awarded by the DETC or the Department of Education Training Council. This accreditation is nationally accepted, and students graduating with a distance learning college degree from a DETC approved school usually have no problems continuing their education or qualifying for job promotions. Traditionally, students of this type of program were ineligible for federal financial aid and government backed student loans. That however, is changing due to the growth of educational institutions holding more that one accreditation. By holding multiple accreditations including one of the six regionally recognized national accreditations, a distance learning school can offer financial aid and student loans, thus increasing its enrollment.

These degrees can also include many majors. Most, if not all business related degrees can be obtained through distance learning, as well as most humanitarian programs. The only distance learning college degrees that are not being offered via distance learning are the Bachelors in education (for teaching K-12), and any programs with science courses that require a lab component. This may change in the near future with advances in technology, but as of yet, restrictions are placed on granting degrees for those majors. Choosing to enroll in a distance learning college degree program is a big decision and research should be done prior to enrollment. It is advised that a student interested in pursuing this avenue of education speak with an academic counselor to determine which program will best suit future career or academic goals.

Accelerated Distance Learning

Accelerated distance learning programs are quickly becoming a major contender for those seeking to further their education and gain a college degree. With the technology of the Internet and the development of programs utilizing this technology, distance learning has evolved into a reputable strategy for many. Degrees and programs offered through this manner can often cost much less than traditional college tuition and can be completed in much less time. This can also save a student valuable time, helping them reach their education goals quickly and enter the job market in less than four years.

For many students, this is a viable option for an education source. With the fast pace world of today, students are accustomed to thinking in terms of "instant" and the need to move from one activity to another, quickly. Students are also looking for results from their educations, meaning good jobs at entry level and as soon as possible. This new technology minded student is a perfect candidate for accelerated distance learning programs that offer the ability to learn at any pace and learn with the ease of the Internet, email, and instant access to research. There are many different types of accelerated programs, but all offer an opportunity to work faster than the traditional college classroom and work with flexibility with a recognized completion of courses. "And when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge." (Proverbs 21:11)

Throughout the last several years, accelerated programs have changed, becoming more accountable, more creative in process, and much more reputable. As colleges have had to contend with the competition of institutions that offered accelerated distance learning degrees, many colleges and universities have stepped into the Internet action and developed their own curriculum. Now, students often have the opportunity to take some courses online and choose other courses to be taught in the classroom on campus. Education is quickly adapting to the demands of those who wish to utilize technology to the fullest.

Taking advantage of this educational offering can be cost and time effective. Accelerated distance learning programs cost students much less that conventional colleges. Costs are saved in not only living and travel expenses, but in tuition as well. The technology behind the "e classroom" saves educational institutions in money and these savings get passed on to the students. And, distance learning can save a student time, allowing him or her to work at his or her own pace, around a job or at full time speed, finishing their educations in much less time. These programs continue to progress to meet the ever-changing needs of education seekers today.

Finding a legitimate life experience degree may be a difficult process as there are many counterfeit companies advertising online as well. With the Internet, illegitimate educational institutions, commonly referred to as "degree mills," have overshadowed actual options for earning credit for one's knowledge in life. It is often hard to differentiate between the two, so look for common red flags when seeking these types of programs online.

If people do have extensive work and living experience, there are many schools that now offer legitimate life experience degrees that give college credit for one's work and learning. While these achievements are earned solely on the basis of what someone has already accomplished and may be out of reach, it is possible to earn some credit legitimately when done properly. A person's experience, documented by a portfolio, can also contribute greatly toward the progress in completing a program. Generally, the process is quite extensive, as it involves submitting a portfolio of the work related to the training already received. However, people also have the potential of earning up to 25% of the overall credits someone needs for their degree.

Schools offering these programs will have an established process by which one accumulates and documents work and everyday living. In addition to offering a portfolio option for life experience, some schools also offer exams that allow you to be tested on what people already know and possibly earn credits for that knowledge. While there may be some short cuts to earning a degree, a school offering legitimate life experience degrees will limit the number of hours one may earn from living and work knowledge.

If people are looking for a way to gain recognition for their extensive adventures and life learning, they should learn to spot the differences between what is real and what is not when it comes to legitimate life experience degrees. There are several red flags that will help expose a degree mill: the tuition is charged per degree instead of by credit, course or semester; there are few unspecified degree requirements, or none at all; the school is relatively new, or has changed names; and there are no designated professors or street mailing address. A true academic institution will be accredited by a viable agency. While even some illegitimate schools will cite an accreditation, make sure the accreditation is recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education.

Be sure to inquire carefully about the process of converting life and work into college credit. Also, inquire carefully about their legitimate life experience degree programs that limit on the number of credits they will accept by this method. Remember, if it's too good to be true, the legitimate life experience degree probably is. "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).





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