To a certain degree, online degrees have had a persistent stigma—a reputation that they are not on-par with those earned on-campus. However, the tide seems to be shifting because non-profit colleges (both private and public) have created online programs that rival those traditional degrees. In fact, a recent study shows that 76 percent of academic leaders agree that degrees taught online are equal to their on-campus counterparts.
According to Wired Magazine, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York tallies the nationwide student loan debt at $902 billion. After factoring in lack of commute time, parking and related fees, the cost of online classes stack up to those taken in-person. Furthermore, many traditional campus-based colleges that have established online degree components are able to provide digital course materials, cutting textbook sticker-shock to students.
The most obvious difference between counseling online (web-based) and counseling in the office is that you can get counseling from the comfort and privacy of your own home, and you save the time and expense of traveling to a counseling office. If you have children at home, it can also save you the cost of child care or dealing with the difficulties of bringing children along to an in-office session. In terms of effectiveness, the research from Kessler, Amstadter and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has shown that for most issues, web-based therapy is as effective as in-office therapy. To ensure web-based sessions are as confidential as our in-office sessions, The Village Family Service Center uses an encrypted web service [Nefsis] so what you share in session stays between you and the counselor.
A degree from a non-accredited institution comes with the risk of potentially not being viewed as a real degree by other schools or employers. Many regionally accredited colleges and universities, like state universities, will not accept credits from nationally accredited schools. If you ever want to transfer or get a graduate degree you may have to redo coursework — not fun!
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of the top research schools in the state with many students going on to earn a degree in science or engineering. However, many graduates realize that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough to advance through some careers. With this in mind, UAH has created one of the best online schools in Alabama to earn a master's degree. One of the popular areas of study for online students is engineering with degrees offered in seven different focuses. Some of these degrees are available at both the master's and doctoral level, giving students the chance to study toward two graduate degrees at the same online school. For students who live in the area, some of the courses offered are available entirely online or in a hybrid of both online and on-campus.
You can connect with a professional by either phone or video—your choice. If you select phone, your coach will call you at the time of your appointment. If you choose videoconference, you’ll be provided a simple web-link that you can use to connect with your provider (that’s right, there’s absolutely nothing to download or install) and your provider will also have your phone number as a backup, in case there’s any unforeseen technical problems during the video-meeting.
The Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education Program is a 33 credit-hour, evidence-based online graduate program designed to prepare in-service teachers to serve students with disabilities in the Pre-K through 12 setting. The use of technology integration prepares graduates for a connected and global digital society. Graduate students will participate in a 2-year program during the fall, spring and summer semesters, selecting a specialization area of study in Pre-K Disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prior to admission to the program.
The faculty at Northern Arizona University provides students with personalized mentorship in order to help them reach their potential. Whether learners are high school students heading for college or working professionals, the school's 151 degree programs offer many options. Northern Arizona's virtual campus is home to more than 80 fully online and hybrid bachelor's and graduate degree programs. While most courses are delivered asynchronously, students also have the option to select class delivered synchronously.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the private, Ivy League school of the University of Pennsylvania, often referred to as Penn or UPenn. The school was founded in 1740, then later received its collegiate charter in 1755 and is one of the 9 colonial colleges which pre-date the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin is the founder and the red chief and dolphin on the university’s coat of arms stems from the Franklin family coat of arms.
Established in 1907, this Greenville-based school is currently the third-largest university in North Carolina by overall student enrollment. In 2007, ECU became the first postsecondary institution to feature an accredited online MBA degree program; today, the university offers more than 80 web-based degree and certificate options for distance learners.
For many people, earning a college degree is about much more than just the degree. Newman University knows that many people earn a degree to improve their career, so they offer degree programs that don't just educate, but prepare students for life after college. The same can be said about the online degrees offered at Newman University. Designed for working adults who cannot regularly attend scheduled classes, and students that live away from campus, the degrees offered through the online school will help students learn the skills to change or improve their career. Because of the quality and direction of the master's programs, Newman University is considered one the best online schools for students who want to advance their career, particularly if they are involved in theology or education.
For those that want to travel as they study, UMC online students can take advantage of extensive study-abroad opportunities. And online learners at UMC have the opportunity to participate in hands-on internships that give you the chance to practice what you’ve learned and make contacts with potential employers. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program also opens doors to conducting research as an online student.
More psychologists are exploring online sites and apps just as more patients are interested in using them. Research does show that some technological tools can help when used in conjunction with in-office therapy. Many psychologists and patients are finding text messages helpful for quick check-ins or reminders. Some apps can help track and log moods or thoughts. Web-conferencing and streaming in real time can offer continuity when a patient is on vacation or not able to make a regular session. There are cases in which Web-conferencing or therapy via telephone does seem to be a viable option on its own for some people. But for now, with the current research and with the current technology, mobile apps and text messaging are best used as complementary to in-person psychotherapy.
Let’s face it: In traditional classroom environments, many students feel like round pegs trying to fit into square holes. “A lot of students have difficulty engaging in an on-ground class because of class size, intimidation, reluctance to sound ‘dumb’ in a live setting, or many other reasons. An online class is great for people who are shy, or reticent to speak or simply need more time to collect their thoughts,” says ClearDegree’s Leatherwood.
The impact of the digital revolution can also be assessed by exploring the amount of worldwide mobile smart device users there are. This can be split into 2 categories smart phone users and smart tablet users. Worldwide there are currently 2.32 billion smartphone users across the world. This figure is to exceed 2.87 billion by 2020. Smart tablet users reached a total of 1 billion in 2015, 15% of the world’s population. The first mobile phone was released in 1973 by a senior engineer in Motorola  and was only affordable by the incredibly wealthy. The fact that such a large proportion of the world’s population own smart devices demonstrates the rapid level of growth achieved throughout the digital revolution.