The Distance Learning College And What To Beware
Like the substitute teacher who sits in lieu of the contracted teacher, the distance learning college works in the place of the actual college one would drive to, take a bus to, or live on campus at. And like the substitute teacher who has the same credentials and concerns for the evolution of learners, the distance learning college has the accreditation and acclaim that the physical, real-time college has. Or it usually does. What you have to watch out for are the phonies, the fakes, the distance learning colleges that are giving distance learning a bad name. The kind of distance learning college to undermine the legitimacy of online education is the one which, first, is not accredited. An accredited distance learning college is one which meets the standards set by the state's, province's, or country's accreditation body, agency, or board. In the U.S., for instance, the Department of Education (the DOE) oversees and regulates American universities, though each state is responsible for its own higher learning authorization standards. This where a distance learner can get into the wrong kind of distance learning college: because unscrupulous and greedy money mongers can be "licensed" to run a business (in this case, the business of running a degree mill, a fake college); because every state has different ways of regulating standards, and because con artists and scammers claiming to be legitimate e-universities will link their pages to the real sites of DOE or of the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the learner seeking the valuable online degree will be duped. He or she will read the website's claim of being accredited--or will infer from the official links or the way the text is worded, in lies, or implications, that the institution is accredited when it is not--he or she will pay unreasonably high fees, will sign a few documents (and do very little actual work or studying), and will "graduate" online...with a bogus degree. The safest thing to do before signing anything or paying any amount, then, is look for the distance learning college accreditation info. Or ask directly about it. When the said distance learning institution names an accreditation agency--whether it is DOE or CHEA in the U.S., The British Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in England, a named Private Colleges Accreditation Board in Canada, or any other Authoritative body--contact that named agency and check to see that the school is in fact accredited. NOT just licensed to do business. Because that's their business: to take your money and leave you with a fake degree you will find about as useful as a pig farmer posing as a substitute teacher for your epidemiology class.
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