With an emphasis on public affairs, Missouri State University-Springfield trains students to become culturally competent and community-engaged, ethical leaders. While the school has a four-year campus in Springfield, two-year campus in West Plains, and a campus in China, it is also among the top accredited online colleges in the country, boasting baccalaureate degrees in fields like communication studies, criminology and criminal justice, health services, and psychology.
Accreditation verifies the legitimacy and quality of colleges, universities, and their degree programs. A school's accreditation status should be a top priority for any student applying to college because it can have a major impact on the ability to apply for financial aid or transfer credits. This information is available on each school's official website. Students can also verify a school's status through the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). Both maintain lists of recognized regional, national, and programmatic accrediting agencies.
The Average Net Price of Attendance is converted to an Affordability Factor using our formula shown in the chart on the right. Online colleges with the lowest in-state COA are given the highest numbers for their affordability. For many students, affordability of a college degree is a huge factor. Taking on great amounts of debt in order to pursue their career is often not part of their future plan. Finding an affordable online college is a priority.
Brown University is a private Ivy League research university located in Providence, Rhode Island. The school was founded in 1764 and is one of the nine original colleges chartered prior to the American Revolutionary War. Brown University was also the first institution of higher learning in the United States to accept students regardless of their religious affiliation.
For online counseling programs that are career specific, such as online master's in school counseling or an online master's in mental health counseling, CACREP has "entry-level specialty area" content standards for accreditation. These standards include curriculum that supports the specific profession, i.e. models of school counseling programs or addiction and mental health co-occurring disorders.
Online learning is transformative, not only reshaping how students learn, but how colleges and universities deliver instruction. Non-profit colleges and universities (both two- and four-year) have quickly adopted online education as a way to improve academic access and program diversity for students. Furthermore, the growing acceptance of online learning at non-profit colleges is important because—in most cases—non-profit colleges represent the best educational choice for adults who have jobs or family commitments that preclude traditional campus attendance.

I believe there are more pros than cons relating to the experience of completing your degree online. I saw many positives throughout my life and within my coursework when I made the transition from traditional classes to online classes. The positives I have found when attending online school are having the chance to plan my week accordingly around my coursework as well as working at my own pace. Working at my own pace was the biggest positive factor for me when I made the transition as I was able to plan my work out as well as plan my life around the coursework for that week. It also gave me the chance to work at my own pace where I was not having test anxiety anymore when it came to big exams that are coming up.


As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
Midway University, founded in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, was one of the nation's first schools to serve disadvantaged or orphaned women. Today, the coeducational Midway offers its 1,005 students over 30 academic majors in many of the region's top-demand fields of business, teacher education, nursing/healthcare, and equine studies. For distance education, Midway is among the best online colleges in the region. Students can earn their associate degree online, one of more than 20 baccalaureate degrees, or a 100-percent-online MBA, M.Ed., or MSN graduate degree. Online options for a bachelor's degree in education include more than 12 areas of specialization. Midway's Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program may grant course credits for online students based on their work experience or career preparation outside the classroom.

The rapid growth in online colleges and universities means that you have more choices than ever before - and therefore you have to think even more carefully about which online school is right for you. If you know exactly what you want out of a particular degree, then you can make educated choices about which schools and programs will give you an acceptable return on investment.
Sometimes the complexity of the issues will require specialized treatment and intervention. If this is the situation, the web-based counselor will assist with referral recommendations and contacts for in-office services. If you want your web-based counselor to share information with a referral source or some other party you will need to sign a release of information form authorizing the information that can be shared, with whom, and for how long.
Second, make sure all target schools have been accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies and/or, if it's an online-only school, by the Distance Education and Training Council. Accreditation means potential colleges and its target programs have been thoroughly vetted by an independent higher education agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education (check out the best accredited online colleges of 2016). Finally, make sure you know exactly what you need from an online degree. The flexibility offered by many programs is great, but the curriculum, professors and resources should have the same quality as their campus counterparts. Don't be afraid to call up counselors and talk to current and former students.

TESU offers a total of 27 online bachelor's degrees. One-third of these programs are concentrated in business administration; these include degrees in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, management and marketing. For undergrads seeking a technology-oriented online degree, TESU features programs in electronics systems engineering, information technology and nuclear engineering. The online BSN program features is offered completely online, and is reserved for students who have already obtained licensure as a registered nurse. For adults who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and are interested in becoming registered nurses, TESU offers an Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program that prepares graduates for the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs (NCLEX). This rigorous program includes an online and on-site component. Other BS pathways include degrees in two cutting-edge fields, homeland security/emergency management and organizational leadership. BA degrees are available in eight different subjects, including communications, computer science, international studies, psychology and sociology. In addition to standard degree programs, 16 online undergraduate certificates are offered through TESU. With the exception of a 15-credit gas distribution certification and a 33-credit certification, these programs are 18 credits in length and can be completed in one year or less of full-time study.


The University of Maine was founded in 1865 along the Stillwater River in Orono, ME. Current enrollment includes 9,279 undergraduates and 1,961 graduate students. The university offers 90 undergraduate programs, 85 master's degree programs, and 35 doctorates at its flagship campus and online. It was ranked among the 50 Green Colleges by The Princeton Review and hosts one of the best online schools in Maine. In fact, UMaine Online offers two undergraduate degrees, 16 master's and doctoral degrees, and 15 graduate certificate programs. There are eight education graduate degrees online, along with in-demand MBA and social work master's programs. Online doctorates are available in biomedicine (engineering and science).
One of the top online colleges in the nation, Arkansas State ensures that its faculty members are trained in the online mode of delivery. Online learners have access to a diverse network of peers and support services, including tutoring and a help-desk. Note that online degrees are only available in some states, so students should check availability.
Despite what some students may think, online colleges are no less challenging than traditional colleges. Depending on a student’s learning style, keeping up with online work may actually prove to be more demanding for some. When asked about the greatest challenges they face while studying online, a majority of students in a Learning House survey cited motivation, attention, and focus as their main concerns.
Baccalaureate degrees can be earned in library science, criminology and criminal justice, sociology, and management information systems, among others. For example, the 120-credit bachelor of multidisciplinary studies (BMS) is a flexible degree that enrolls nontraditional students, transfer students, and military students. The program offers dozens of concentrations around which students develop a course of study that corresponds to their career or graduate school aspirations. Areas of study include aviation, civic leadership, computer science, emergency management, engineering physics, and cybersecurity. Up to 64 credits can be transferred into the program from regionally accredited two-year institutions; students may also earn credits for military experience and education.

At risk of sounding too obvious, I say, “Online, of course.” You can begin your search for a distance counselor at GoodTherapy.org. Many therapists who list with GoodTherapy.org offer distance therapy, and this will be noted in the therapist’s profile, along with types of therapy practiced and their specific approach to treatment. You can also look into websites specifically created to help people find online behavioral health care. A simple Google search will yield many options (and you may wish to compare ratings and customer feedback before settling on any one service or provider). Any of these sites will display therapist profiles and information about their therapy orientation and modalities offered, fees, and time availability.


For more than 160 years, the University of Florida has consistently grown in status as a major research university. Last year, UF received $724 million in research awards. UF was ranked second among all AAU institutions in the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to Hispanic students. U.S. News also ranked UF Online among the nation's best online colleges, singling out high marks for the Best Online MBA Programs, Best Online Bachelor's Programs, and Best Online Graduate Education Programs. In addition to more than 200 college degree programs, UF Online also offers certificate programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
Like classroom learners, online students need to be motivated. Beyond the desire to learn you need to be self-disciplined, have good time management skills, and be comfortable in an environment where it's just you and your computer. You need to be proactive and access the course frequently so you stay on top of the work. You’ll also need to be at ease communicating and interacting with other people without face-to-face contact.
UC Berkeley is comprised of 15 different colleges, schools, and divisions which offer around 350 undergraduate and graduate college degree programs to nearly 42,000 students. UC Berkeley Extension offers online learning opportunities for students and adult professionals in several areas of study and degree levels. Among other online options, there are summer studies offered as online courses, UC Berkeley edX MOOCs online class selection, and UC Berkeley class videos.
While digital media came into common use in the early 1950s, the conceptual foundation of digital media is traced to the work of scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush and his celebrated essay "As We May Think," published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1945.[9] Bush envisioned a system of devices that could be used to help scientists, doctors, historians and others, store, analyze and communicate information.[9] Calling this then-imaginary device a "memex", Bush wrote:
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