The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
The following online college ranking considers that the best online college depends on the needs of an individual student; what might be the “best” for one might not even make the short-list of another. As a result, the list below ranks schools based on many variables, including tuition, financial aid and number of online programs available. Depending on what students find most important in a school, they can tailor their college search to focus on those characteristics. By narrowing down the options with their top needs and desires, students find the best online school for them.
Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU)is a private, Christian, liberal arts university with extensive online programming. CBU offers top-ranked online programs—currently, there are over 40 degree options—at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels. And CBU Online has been lauded by national rankings like U.S. News and World Report for their high-quality programs.
Online counseling has a long history. Cornell University, as early as 1986, began providing an online therapy service of sorts when they developed a program called “Dear Uncle Ezra.” With Ezra, students could anonymously write to an anonymous therapist, and receive a prompt written reply. While 1986 sounds early, if one extends the definition of “online” therapy to include any electronic or distance therapy, the Samaritans, based out of Great Britain, created their first telephone crisis helpline almost 30 years earlier—in 1953! So, while today we might think of online therapy as HIPAA-complaint videoconference (like we offer), it reality is a broad category with a rich history, and if you ask five helping professionals for a definition, you might get five somewhat different answers.
It can provide access to those who can’t get to an office. In some rural communities, the nearest psychologist office may be an hour or two drive away. Some people with chronic illnesses or disabilities may not be able to drive or easily able to leave their home. In these situations, Web- or telephone-based therapy may be their only option for help.
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.
OSU Ecampus courses and programs are developed by world-class OSU faculty who use innovative course delivery strategies. Through cutting-edge technology, students are actively engaged in virtual labs, interactive language-acquisition exercises, engaging videos, and interactive lectures. OSU uses Canvas as its learning management system, so online interaction through discussion boards and web conferencing keeps students in touch. Top online degree programs include:
For on-campus students, support services are often within a walk to another building. For online students, finding faculty and staff support may be through the phone or other virtual communication. When researching online counseling degree programs, you want to make sure that the university offers services that meet their online students’ needs, such as flexible hours, online resources, and/or virtual meeting times.
It is important to know exactly what your career goals are and what you want to get out of a graduate degree before you begin applying to online master's programs. Most people who earn online master's degrees do so with the goal of getting a higher-paying job. If you fall into this category, it's important to have a solid understanding of the job market in your industry. For some fields, like social work or psychology, a graduate degree is required for even entry-level jobs. In other fields, like business, online master's programs and MBAs can prepare you for significant salary increases or senior leadership roles. Finally, in fields like education, a master's degree can automatically qualify you for a higher salary, and choosing one of the best online master's programs can allow you to earn that degree while you work full-time. Graduate school may not be the best choice for all career paths. For example, the typical salary of a worker with a master's degree in petroleum engineering is only $5,000 more per year than the salary of a worker with only a bachelor's degree in the same subject.
Video therapy, also known as online or distance therapy, has become a viable alternative for anyone with a computer, tablet, or iPhone. Just as physicians began to do with patients in the medical community, more and more therapists now practice distance therapy, treating people seeking help in areas where mental health professionals are scarce. With increased availability and ease of use, the internet now may be a go-to method of receiving therapy for a person who travels with work, has a schedule that makes it difficult or impossible to visit an actual office, and/or may be fearful of facing a therapist in person.
There are a few considerations to make before choosing a degree level to pursue. One, what level of education have you achieved already? Two, what are your career goals? There are many online bachelor's degrees out there, but depending on your career aspirations you may also want to consider online associate degrees and online master's degrees. The following list can help you better understand these options:
Distance learning students at Bama by Distance have many resources available to help them succeed—from online library resources to tutoring assistance and technical support. And your degree will be highly respected. Bama by Distance offers one of the top-ranked, AACSB-accredited online graduate business programs in the country (according to U.S. News & World Report) as well as one of the top 50 online graduate engineering programs.
Online bachelor's degrees at Excelsior fall into six academic departments. The school's most robust online branch is 'Technology', with multi-concentration bachelor's degrees in cybersecurity, electrical engineering, information technology, technology management and general technology. An innovative dual program also allows students to earn a bachelor's in nuclear engineering and an MBA in just 151 credits. Online liberal arts options are also extensive, with a total of 15 online degrees in humanities, liberal arts, natural science and social science subjects. Business students can pursue a web-based degree in general business, as well as seven concentrated subjects. Additionally, eight B.S. to MBA dual tracks span 147 credits in length. The bachelor's in health sciences option includes possible concentrations in health and wellness, health education, health care management and public health. Online degree tracks in the 'Public Service' department include bachelor's degrees in criminal justice and national security -- each with five possible concentrations -- and a B.S. in military leadership. Finally, an RN to BSN pathway is available to registered nurses.
The owner of the memex, let us say, is interested in the origin and properties of the bow and arrow. Specifically he is studying why the short Turkish bow was apparently superior to the English long bow in the skirmishes of the Crusades. He has dozens of possibly pertinent books and articles in his memex. First he runs through an encyclopedia, finds an interesting but sketchy article, leaves it projected. Next, in a history, he finds another pertinent item, and ties the two together. Thus he goes, building a trail of many items. Occasionally he inserts a comment of his own, either linking it into the main trail or joining it by a side trail to a particular item. When it becomes evident that the elastic properties of available materials had a great deal to do with the bow, he branches off on a side trail which takes him through textbooks on elasticity and tables of physical constants. He inserts a page of longhand analysis of his own. Thus he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials available to him.