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Top Distance Learning and Online Schools Directory

In 2001, Robert Brown, the former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, introduced the school’s Open Courseware program, a free, non-credit or degree-granting program that allowed anyone to take classes with MIT curricula and faculty. In 10 years, the number of courses offered has exploded from 50 in 2001 to 2,000 as of 2011. Online education is growing fast and 65 percent of the 2,500 schools and universities surveyed as part of a 2010 online education study said that an online program is “a critical part” of their long-term strategy. In fact, online courses have grown so popular that one student in three of all students surveyed is taking at least one online course as part of their higher education. That’s 6.1 million students!

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Online learning provides a flexible learning environment where often students can choose when to attend their classes, allowing them to manage a potentially busy daily schedule while also working towards a degree. Online and distance learning programs usually come in two forms, online and distance learning degree programs comparable to programs found at traditional schools and certification programs, which grant a professional certification.

The following schools have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as having the top online bachelor’s programs in 2012 based on student engagement and class work assessment.

Bellevue University
Newberry College
University of the Incarnate Word
Fort Hays State University
Regis University
Pace University

Some of the distance learning certificate and degree programs available from online schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

Certificate programs

Professional certificates can be valuable for individuals with prior work experience or those who want to achieve a level of professionalism that a traditional degree cannot offer. They are traditionally offered by colleges and some specific vendors and agencies. They usually require less time to complete than traditional degrees—based on availability, scheduling, etc. The programs also may have fewer, if any, education requirements, streamlining the process specifically for the work the certificate holder may perform.

Certification is available for many professional fields such as automotive repair or computer network installation -- in which certificates may demonstrate professionals are skilled in the work they are expected to perform -- and certificates that can validate the education of accountants, architects, IT professionals and project managers.

Many of the schools listed through SchoolsGalore.com offer certification programs entirely online and though distance learning can be for students both new to the profession and for experienced professionals. Hybrid programs are also available for students with prior work experience.

Degree programs

Typically, an associate degree program can be completed in about two years, depending on the level of study and class scheduling, and bachelor's degrees can be typically be in three-to-four years. Programs offering a master’s degree can vary, but typically require either a bachelor’s degree or completion of three years of post-secondary education for enrollment.

A typical adult learner might be someone who wants to return to college to finish a degree, but cannot meet a regular class schedule. Online courses provide a flexible timetable for degree completion and allow students the time to earn a degree without sacrificing their career. Schools offering distance learning programs can pair with self-study programs with approved training facilities to provide degree options to students who would otherwise be unable to attend the school.

Many of the schools listed through SchoolsGalore.com offer entirely online degree programs ranging from an associate degree up to a master’s degree. Some schools even offer online doctorate level programs. The programs are available for students with and without college experience. Hybrid programs are also available for students who are seeking degrees that require hands-on experience and education, such as degrees in surgical technology and radiology.

Learn more about accredited distance learning programs from online schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

When researching online colleges and universities, make sure to verify that your choice of school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or by another accrediting agency that approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. DETC and CHEA both provide a searchable list of approved schools.

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