Monthly Archives: November 2016

Nursing Continuing Education Online Courses

For nurses who are interested in expanding their present medical skills, nursing continuing education online courses may be the perfect solution. Many accredited universities, colleges, and CE organizations offer a wide range of online nursing continuing education courses as part of their Certificate, Diploma and Degree programs.

The Benefits of Online Nursing Continuing Education Courses

For many nurses online continuing education courses offer the best of all worlds, such as;

* Allowing for continued employment while taking classes,

* Providing flexibility to complete courses at your own pace;

* Allowing you to schedule study time around a hectic lifestyle, and

* Saving driving time and transportation expenses.

The common goal of any nursing continuing education course is to provide the skills and knowledge to maintain a level of competency consistent with the latest medical developments and procedures. These online courses are one of the most convenient and effective ways to achieve this goal.

Nursing Continuing Education Online Courses For Professional Development

By honing and expanding their present nursing skills, nurses can broaden their knowledge and abilities in the ever-changing health care field. The online continuing education courses provide nursing professionals with the opportunity to advance their career goals within their profession. It is a well known fact that many specialized nursing fields are open only to those who have the proper training and skills, and this is where online continuing education can make a difference.

The nursing continuing education online courses can also satisfy the mandatory CE requirements for license renewal and certification. Though these requirements can vary from state to state, most certification boards or state nursing boards require some sort of ongoing training to stay current on the latest medical procedures and methods.

Another benefit of these online courses is that they can help nursing professionals earn continuing nursing education contact hours for lifelong learning.

The Importance of Accreditation

Nurses searching for continuing education courses online should make sure that the organization providing the training is accredited, as well as the courses they offer. Courses and organizations that are not accredited can be a horrible waste of your time and money. Do your research before making any deposits or payments.

Continuing Education Online Makes Sense

Many nursing continuing education online courses are available, which makes obtaining CEUs much easier for nursing professionals. A money-saving tip for those that belong to professional nursing organizations or associations is to check for free nurse continuing education online courses as a member benefit. The price is right and the selection of courses is generally broad.

And don’t worry about the technical requirements needed for most online nursing courses. They are generally minimal; with a standard personal computer, internet connection and basic software, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, being all you need.

So, if online continuing education nursing courses sound right for you, why not call the CEU contact at the online nursing continuing education organization of your choice to obtain a course catalog and verify that the organization and courses are accredited. You will have just taken the first step toward improving your nursing career, your life, and your future!

Using Continuing Education Loans

If you feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job, continuing education may be the answer. The high costs associated with advanced training and education, however, prevent many people from seeking the additional education they might need in order to improve their earning power or move into a more desirable field. But with the help of continuing education loans, many working individuals find that they are able to pursue the advanced training or degrees they need to finally achieve their career goals.

Adults seek to further their educations for a variety of reasons. Some are simply finishing their degree programs. Others are looking to enrich their lives with continued learning. Still others are interested in mapping out an entirely new career path. There are even benefits to pursuing continued education if you’re already working in your chosen field. An advanced degree or additional training may put you in a better position for advancement within your own company or may provide you with more leverage when negotiating for a raise.

Opportunities for adults to pursue continued education are everywhere. From night classes to correspondence courses to online degree programs, a variety of options are available to working individuals. Unfortunately, however, pursuing an advanced degree or vocational training in a new area can be an expensive proposition. Online degree programs may help you reduce your costs by eliminating the need for textbooks and transportation, but the credit hours themselves may be just as expensive as they would be at a regular 4-year college. Most people can help to make their costs manageable, however, with the help of continuing education loans.

Available from a variety of sources, continuing education loans exist to help adults manage the costs associated with the pursuit of continued education. Many private lenders offer continuing education loans; and, assuming that you have a good credit history, approval rates for these loans are generally high.

When you apply for a continuing education loan, your lender will let you know how much money you will be able to borrow. This amount may cover a portion of your school fees or you may qualify for the entire cost of your degree program (including books, equipment and other requirements). Some lenders will also allow you to choose whether to begin payments while you’re still in school or to defer your payments until you’ve completed your program. By choosing to defer your payments until you’re finished with school, you may be able to reduce the amount of time you’re currently working, helping you to finish your degree more quickly.

As your new degree begins to open new career doors, it is hoped that the costs associated with a continuing education loan will be far outweighed by your improved earning potential. By helping you to manage the costs associated with furthering your education, continuing education loans may ultimately mean the difference between staying in your current job and finally pursuing the career path you’ve always dreamed about.

Solar Education As Part of Environmental Education

The current state of our environment is of great concern to many people. Not only are people aware of the fact that the environment is in big trouble but many are ready to do something to help slow down the degradation of the planet and make positive changes so that we can live on a cleaner, more sustainable earth.

Education Is Knowledge For Positive Change

We can make a difference if we have the knowledge about what needs to happen in order to make a positive change. We often have the misconception that actions of many are needed in order to change the way the world operates. This is true but it happens with one person at a time. Personally, every individual is able to learn, change and teach for that positive change.

Solar Education Is A Good Start

As solar power become more commercially available, solar education is a good start for every individual. To begin with, we should learn about solar and what we can do to change our life and reduce our carbon footprint through solar power. We can then implement changes with our home electrical supply with solar power. Finally, we can take our experience to the community and pass on the information for a positive change.

Solar education includes the learning of sustainable development for the community. It covers areas such as the improvement of air quality, costs saving for home electricity in the long run as well as health improvement. Solar education also covers energy efficiency and conservation, such as turning the lights off and walking to work. These are energy related practices that will will help us learn about areas that need to be explored for positive change.

Make Positive Changes With Solar Education

Solar education should impart the individuals with essential knowledge about our environmental problems, the consequences and the solar implementation we can begin with to help make the difference. Changes at home can make a vast difference as we learn to save energy at home, furnish our home in a more environmentally friendly way and even gardening and landscaping more environmentally.

Ultimately when we bring our solar education to work and to our community, we learn about how solutions will come about. And, because knowledge is power, we will be able to move forward confidently about the future and the way we are paving for our children and grandchildren.

Environmental Education

Environmental education as a tool for awareness.

Its history can be briefly described by the following steps:

1968 – Founded as the Club of Rome brings together scientists, economists and senior government officials from several countries to analyze the world situation and make predictions and solutions for the future (in an ecological perspective, the global system). The studies and proposals of informal association, sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation, the first report of this organization was published in 1972 under the title: “The Limits of Growth.”

They pointed out some factors that could lead a global crisis ever seen:

– Exhaustion of Natural Resources, an energy crisis, population growth, food shortage, mass unemployment, environmental pollution (the industrialization of the modern world is rapidly destroying the environment with effect no return and above any estimate).

1972 – The United Nations Conference in Stockholm occurred under the theory of thought originating from the Club of Rome. Ecological politicized the issue and opened a new field in international relations: the eco diplomacy. When the United Nations (UN) was established in 1945, highlighted as priorities for peace, human rights and equitable development are not priority or concern in their first years of existence the environmental issue, much less the welfare status. Only from the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment in 1972, the ecological security has become the fourth priority of the United Nations.

1987 – The World Commission on Environment and Development (CMMAD), known as Brundland Commission, recommended the creation of a letter or a universal declaration on environmental protection and sustainable development.

“Answering the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to also meet their”. Our Common Future, Report of the Commission Brundland that inspired the Rio-92.

1992 – United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, also known as Rio-92 and ECO-92, twenty years after the Stockholm Conference also felt the impact of theories of the Club of Rome , mainly in the form of approaches and proposals made by developed countries.

However, in the interval between the two conferences, significant changes occurred in both societies and the ecological and environmental thinking. The Rio-92 was also the scene of the critical theories of the Club of Rome. Eco 92 started the process and reached an initial consensus on the Declaration of Principles of the Rio, “to continue the project of the Earth Charter.

This time, it was officially the Agenda 21, as a document of international problems of today, preparing the world for the challenges of the 21st century.

1995 – International Seminar on the Earth agreement, held in The Hague, Netherlands. There were defined the needs, the main elements and the way of drafting the Earth Charter.

1996 – Conference on Climate Change held in Kyoto in Japan and known as Rio +5 was held for five years after the Eco 92. The official document of the Conference was known as the Kyoto Protocol, was adopted on 11.12.97, seeking the involvement of a reduction of about 6% of emissions of greenhouse gases in industrialized countries until the period 2008 to 2012.

1997 – During the Rio was formed a Commission of the Earth agreement. At that time it was the first draft text of reference, the discussions today that beacon in the world. The Earth agreement and the Rio Declaration which seeks to establish international respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the overall ecology and development. It is understood that environmental education is essential for the formation of the individual as citizen.

Provisions of article 2 of Law 9795/99 establishing the National Policy of Environmental Education (PNEA) should be present in articulated at all levels and modalities of the educational process in all sectors of society.

Thus it is legal instrument to the citizen is environmentally aware, it can be charged by society and political responsibility and obligation to its institutionalization. Should be worked as a transversal theme, according to the National Curricular Parameters and Guidelines, as the law prioritizes the projects of environmental education in the disciplines of basic education.

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS AND EDUCATION

The aspirations of a community or population should be considered in environmental planning which will be subject, as it seeks to solve the problems that alarmed by the diagnosis. These characteristics show that the knowledge of the environment by people who live and understand this area, generating data from the development of business activities and relationship with nature.

The community, for being there, has the power to transform and build new landscapes, new spaces, as well as their mental images, then revealing, perceptive plans more or less clear, according to their vital needs or limitations, as his social and cultural priorities .

As proposed Lerípio (1996): The perception inevitably influences human behavior, but to maintain a quality environment, the behavior must be directed to specific acts. Moreover, the specific acts must take precedence over other possible actions which reflect a different hierarchy of values. The personal habits reflect the priority of value of an individual and treated with consideration to the environment requires a focus on environmental values. Information and education of the public are essential, especially to develop the approach known as environmental ethics.

Lerípio (2001) proposing that complements the environment to influence the behavior group, to raise the participation of many individuals to the achievement of common targets, “A certain degree of consensus must be reached on the definition of environmental quality. The priorities within society must be established for the definition of targets. ”

According to Dias (1994), it is possible to raise the public by passing the three steps: a) raise awareness, b) create attitudes that influence actions and c) gain the cooperation in solving problems. For this, you must first diagnose the real state of public opinion and trends. Research on attitudes can provide an understanding of certain aspects, and interviews with leaders of the public can develop an understanding of dimensions of attitudes and motivations. The awakening of awareness is to inform the public about the importance of a phenomenon in their lives. Inform to educate. Active participation is gained when offering an opportunity to express interest in real issues, especially when the subject indicates that participation can actually influence a result (TUAN, 1980).

Lerípio (op. cit) notes that efficient decision-making on environmental issues requires understanding of how people perceive and evaluate the likelihood of uncertain events. If the human being that makes decisions, you should consider that their behavior is a function of their real-world images and in the extensive system information, which determines the interaction of value systems of individuals and their images of the real world.

The implementation of social mobilization incurs the risk that the mutual influence of psychological factors, economic and environmental activated in the attempt to control the nature and development of laws by government in the direction of policy making, thereby undermining the effectiveness of plans.

The UNCED-United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the best way of dealing with environmental issues is with the participation of all interested citizens. And environmental education shows itself in the long term – as the best way to create critical awareness in the community, from the analysis of the problems it experienced, and, from this, actually establish their participation in solving these problems.

Education is itself a reading of nature. At the same time, the relationship with nature requires a certain relationship between individuals in society. A debate on when, how, where and why the methodology in environmental education everything leads us to believe in its success.

Environmental education can go in this direction, because that will assess not only the action on the anthropocentric nature, but also the division of interests that permeate it. Establish an environmental awareness not walk in the narrow sense, but to understand, investigate, search, so intense, in the fields of formal and informal education, the best conditions for its practice of teaching.

A key of Environmental Education is to enable individuals to engage in confrontation and resolution of environmental issues that affect them most directly, with a central point where the understanding of the complex nature of the natural environment and the environment created by man, resulting the integration of biological aspects, physical, social, economic and cultural.

Understood as any process of re – learning environment, the objective is that individuals acquire knowledge, values, behavior and practical skills to participate responsibly and effectively to the prevention and solution of environmental problems, and quality management of the environment.

This is only viable allowing it access to correct information on specific problems that require them, leaving the clear economic interdependence, political and ecological, and range of decisions and behaviors.
Therefore, the Environmental Education should contribute to the development of a spirit of responsibility and solidarity (TUAN, 1980, p. 54).

Involves educating receive information, work it, interpret it and act in consequence of the interpretation that has been reached.

There is active involvement of individuals. – Desiring to achieve a specific problem and enable people, it is necessary to know how to do it, how to pass the information, as related to life, the activities of people, so they feel affected and therefore interested in the deepen the least knowledge about.

Activities, practical demonstrations, examples of daily living, are more efficient ways of reaching the target audience. Involving people in a business practice, the scope is even greater. Most projects, environmental education does not reach their objectives, or does not obtain satisfactory results because they are not directed to the practical problems of a particular community or region, or the way work is done is at odds with reality and interests of the target population. It is important to the development and implementation of an environmental education project, which will meet the target audience, with regard to:

a) socio-economic characteristics and educational (level of education),

b) Knowledge about the environmental issue and interpretation, verified through the study of environmental perception

c) Interests and values,

d) Information on the environmental issue and e) environmental characteristics of the region in which they live.

For the satisfactory development of projects of the proposed environmental education days, which is from the profile of the group where it is established, making a full diagnosis to characterization of the group, their needs and anxieties, their values and way of seeing the environment so that added to the makers, teachers, together with the environmental characteristics to be treated then starting a real opportunity for participation by all in a draft environmental education.

Educational Consulting

Parents considering private or independent schools for the first time can find the situation daunting. If completely new to independent education, one can expend much energy working to learn the vocabulary and ways of independent schools all before focusing on the most important piece of the equation, your student.

The school search is akin to life size jigsaw puzzle in which the objective is to find the best fit between school and student. No two are alike and fitting the details together is difficult even for the experienced parent.

A educational consultant helps with the fit.

Educational Consultants

Each family’s unique setting and student determine the exact role that a consultant plays in the school search.

IECA educational consultants are credentialed professionals- members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)- who add expertise and independent judgment to a family’s school search.

A consultant brings clear eyes to a school search. A consultant’s perspective helps a family set aside biases and preconceived expectations and notions in favor of clear examination and what is best for the student.

However, no matter the tailoring of the situation one goal remains at the end of every school search- matching, and fitting the traits and abilities of each student with a school setting that will best foster that student’s growth.

Knowing the Student and Family

A consultant will first set our to learn and get know the student and family. What’s the impetus for a school change? What’s the family history and setting? What is the student’s educational history? How is the student presently doing in school?

The family may have a child experiencing difficulty in school with no known reason. In this case a consultant might suggest educational evaluation.

Has the student been evaluated in his/her previous school setting? Have any learning differences been diagnosed?

A family change may be behind the move to a different school.

Knowledge of the student and a family give the consultant the perspective and judgment to say “we need to know more” and seek educational assessment and testing when needed.

When the ‘ducks are in a row’ and the consultant is satisfied that he/she knows the family and the student well, then, thinking shifts to schools that might be good environments for the student.

School and Process Knowledge

Educational consultants know schools and that the devil is in the details. Consultants regularly visit schools to gain first hand experience of each school’s unique perspective and workings.

Schools often appear quite similar in their literature and pictures. In reality, each school and student are a unique fit.

Once settled on a school or school list, an educational consultant can aid families in building a plan or a map to follow so that no piece of the admission process suffers from short shrift or omission. Consultants can also help a family manage the application process.

The amount of involvement in the process is determined by the needs of the student and family.

Student Centered Goal- the best fit

Using his/her broad vision and expertise a consultant may shape all or a some of a family’s school application plan. Most importantly, the consultant can see and think critically about the family student and school choices, providing guidance driven and shaped by what’s best for the student.

Educational Consultants

Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nadu province at the southern part of India. It is one of the biggest education hubs in India.

There are numerous Educational Consultants in Chennai offering specialized information about the country you intend to study, the university you intend to join and the course you intend to undertake. Mostly the private Educational Consultants Chennai that offer overseas education guidance and counseling also offer coaching for overseas entrance examinations like GMAT, GRE, IELTS, and TOFEL. Personality development programs are also offered by some of the educational consultants; these programs are designed to help student prepare for campus interviews, group discussions and personal interviews. Educational Consultants Chennai is of great help to students in this era of excessive information and options. Students can get required assistance from these consultants and make their dreams of higher study come true.

For the purpose of Higher Education in India, there are over 310 Universities and 15500 colleges. They offer broad spectrum of courses suiting to the needs of international students. The higher education programs that are offered include Doctoral, Postgraduate, Undergraduate, and Diploma courses. India ranks second largest in higher education system in the world. Indian campuses offer opportunities to interact amongst different cultures and religions that contribute in all round development of the students. Standard and quality of education imparted by Indian Institution has global fame and recognition. Besides quality, Indian campuses provide safe learning environment at most reasonable cost.

Any Institution or University intending to offer professional and technical courses in India need to first obtain recognition by the national level statutory bodies that are responsible for maintaining quality standards in higher education system. At global level, more than 200 Fortune-500 companies regularly recruit from Indian campuses.

For the purpose of entry into Diploma programs, a candidate is required to possess a 10 years schooling, and for undergraduate programs, you need to acquire Senior Secondary/ GCE ‘A’ level or any other examination equivalent to twelve years of schooling in India with adequate knowledge of English. If you wish to have admission in Postgraduate courses, you have to possess an undergraduate degree in appropriate discipline. On an average the cost of tuition fee plus accommodation per annum in India for undergraduate programs may range between USD 1200 and 2500 for Science, Art, Humanities, Social Sciences, Commerce, and Management to USD 14000 and 20000 for Medicine.

Education Consultants India Limited (Ed.CIL) – which is a constituent of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India – is authorized for placement of international students in Indian Institutions intending to seek higher education. With large number of Universities/Institutions spread all over India, EdCIL has tied up.

 

Types of College Essay Topics

Essays can be a tough assignment for many students. Although essays mean writing a series of paragraphs, putting one’s thoughts in a correct way can be complicated. Knowing the rules to follow will certainly make one’s work stand out among the rest. As there are several types of essays, below are the most frequently used and the rules to follow to make one’s essay effective.

Expository

This type of essay focuses on an idea and the reaction of the writer. The essay starts with a statement or a question which is answered by the writer by providing his opinion on the matter. The opinion is backed up by a series of evidences or facts supporting the argument. The writer would then conclude the paper in a concise and clear manner. Examples include writer’s opinion on an event, humanity and even politics.

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect is the easiest type of essay as it is concerned with providing readers the cause and the effect or end result. This type allows writers to practice their organization skills while at the same time discussing the ideas they are interested in. The essay starts with either the writer deliberating on the cause, the effect or both. The body would then include details that would support the first statement such as incidents that led to the cause or effect. Topics that are often discussed under this essay type include environmental and civil or human rights.

Persuasive

Persuasive essays involve persuading readers to adopt the writer’s view about an idea. In a persuasive essay, writers must choose which side of the argument they want to be on. Evidences must be specific to ensure that the idea that one is presenting is supported. Be logical and objective. Include facts, statistics and experts’ comments as they help make the idea concrete; however, do not overdo these as they can bore the readers. Popular topics include drugs, health, gun control and other controversial topics.

Narrative

Narrative essays are like storytelling as writers often write the essay in the form of a story, presenting readers with a particular plot that includes characters, a setting, the climax and the ending of the story. A higher form of narrative essay includes discussion of the point of view of the writer and the purpose of why the paper was written. Details provided in the story help support the point of view as well as explain the story. Popular topics include a person’s life, success stories and travels.

Write Essays Quickly on a Deadline

Essays are supposed to give enough information and featured facts. They’re supposed to tell the truth with coherence without deleting a logical and unique form.

If you are commissioned to write an essay and/or article or a story for a publication, you have to be serious at this matter. Editors wouldn’t like writers who cannot submit on a deadline. They abhor irresponsible writers who are just for a show and making promises, but not submitting on time.

In the Philippines, I have worked with respectable editors like Melba Bartolome of Women’s, Dinah Ventura of Tribune, Nancy Reyes – Lumen of Cook, Reynaldo Duque of Liwayway, Danilo Meneses of Dandelion, Mona Gonzalez, Ricky Lo of Philippine Star, Eugene Asis of Peoples, Leoncio Castillo of Buy and Sell, Dave Frias of Wealthline International, and June Ranera of Rogate Ergo, among others; and I thank them all (forever and ever), for teaching me the guidelines of good writing.

It was not easy. It required a lot of patience to write something the editor will publish conforming to the needs of the paper, magazine, or book.

How to Write the Essays Quickly

The writer needs facts. Primary and secondary data can be used for more details. If necessary, a first-hand interview and witnessing of an event would help. The more details one gets, the better. Moreover, the writer has to be sharp to identify what details to include and what to omit. It is not just getting something to write. There must be some insight and/or added knowledge from the new work.

Write clear sentences. Remember the KISS theory of composition (Keep it simple, stupid.)

Organize data as to theme of the paper or magazine, or audience.

You’ve got to put your soul and heart into your work.

Be ready to rewrite.

A Stock of Subject Matter

The essay/article writer needs a stock of subject matter. In short, he/she has to be well-read. His/Her senses must be keen and free about the facts of life. Francis Bacon once said, that he took mankind as his field of study; Montaigne and Whitman made use of their lives as the subject of their work. Authenticity and freshness are markers of a good essay.

Ground Schools Across the Nation Adopt Online Education Programs

While his two roommates sleep, University of Florida freshman Anish Patel goes to class. But, he only moves from his bed to his desk two feet away to attend his 9:35 economics class. Given the opportunity to either attend class or watch a live stream video over his computer, Patel says he, like many, prefers the latter.

The University of Florida is just one brick and mortar school to adopt online education programs. And, it’s not necessarily for student and professor convenience. Instead, with rising student enrollment, ground schools have been forced to address the lack of teaching space. 1,500 undergraduate students are enrolled in Patel’s economics class and with no space large enough to house all of the students- live streams of the class are offered as an alternative.

Popular psychology, biology, and statistics classes (among others) are also offered online- and many students say they prefer the online platform to the face-to-face classrooms. University of Florida provost, Joe Glover agrees- “quite honestly, the higher education industry in the United States has not been tremendously effective in the face-to-face mode if you look at national graduation rates. At the very least we should be experimenting with other modes of delivery of education.”

The University of Iowa and North Carolina are two other prominent ground schools who have introduced mandatory online courses or other online course options. The University of North Carolina, for instance, requires first year Spanish students to take their language course online.

Not only do the online courses allow educators to address growing student enrollment issues and significant education funding cuts, they also ready students for the predominantly digital workplace and provide them with necessary tech skills. Additionally, says Provost Glover, as more and more students turn to the internet for their educational needs, traditional ground schools need to offer students the Web-based learning options that they want. Continual increases in online school enrollment attest to this, says Glover. “We see this as the future of higher education.”

Right Online Education Program

My main motivations for wanting an advanced degree were to teach and to earn extra money doing it. As I’ve discovered from my years as an online instructor, many people enroll in school for many reasons. I’ve found that the overall main reason is self-improvement. More and more people are discovering that their chances for advancing at work will only improve if they have a college degree, whether it’s a two-year, four-year or post-graduate degree.

The reasons people decide to return to school vary. Here are some comments from some of my past students on why they went back to school (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):

“I am 50, married for 33 years have 6 children… I decided to go back to school because my husband started his own business about 6 years ago. I started doing the books and found out that I need some help… I made up mind I can do anything.”
-Eleanor C.

“I quit school in the 11th grade then eventually got my GED. My current major is business. With my degree I am hoping to own my own hotel or resort.”
-Melissa A.

“After 27 years, the toll construction puts on your body, prompted me to do as I’m doing now. My degree will allow me to either take on a very good office job or do smaller businesses on my own.”
-Dale R.

As you might have noticed, the comments appear to be from older adults and they all deal with self-improvement. I’ve found the majority of my students are older adults, with jobs, and families. (Is that where you are in life right now?) They want to advance at work or they want to find a better job that requires some kind of degree. Some students are younger people who started working right out of high school, might have a few community college courses under their belts, and want to continue their educations while they keep working.

So, why do most of these folks say they want to take online classes? For the very same reasons: they are older adults, with jobs and families. They cannot take or make the time to sit in a college classroom for several nights a week to earn a college degree. You are probably in the very same situation. I know that I was.

If you are diving into distance learning, you are part of a growing group. Research shows that the number of post-secondary students taking at least one online class is growing at a faster rate faster than the increase of overall higher education enrollments.

The main reason many students say they enroll in online education programs is convenience, as well as the schedule flexibility. Is that one of your main reasons? While there are assignment deadlines for discussions, tests and papers, students can work at their own pace to some degree. You will still have deadlines to meet but you can juggle your personal time to get it all done.

Online learning is becoming right for more people. I am sure you’ve noticed that many of the major Ivy League level schools are offering free (usually non-credit) courses called MOOCs. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. They can and do serve hundreds upon thousands of students. But while MOOCs seem fascinating, and the thought of enrolling in a course where some of our country’s greatest minds have attended seems intriguing, are they really the best environment for the new online learner. I think the short answer is “no.” MOOCs are too much of a one-size-fits-all environment and do not work for everyone.

David Youngberg is an assistant professor of economics at Bethany College. In August of 2012, he wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education in which he recounted his experiences in a MOOC he took through Stanford. He didn’t seem all that impressed with the massive teaching program. In his commentary, he pointed out what he saw as some of the major flaws with MOOCs: It’s too easy to cheat, star students don’t stand out, computers can’t grade everything, and money can substitute for ability.

While I do think that an employer will be more impressed with a resume from someone who earned a college degree from a conventional school compared to a distance learning school, I also would like to give that employer some credit in evaluating the applicant. If the applicant earned his or her degree online while working full-time and raising a family, I think that’s all worthy of consideration. So, don’t shy away from online learning – and maybe even MOOCs just because they don’t have the same punch as an Ivy League school.

It is vitally important that you really do your homework before making a commitment to an online program. There are a lot of questions you have to ask, of yourself and the schools you are considering. Not asking the schools a lot of questions is a big mistake. You need to know what you are buying into here.

It is really important that you do not make a speedy decision when choosing your online program. Don’t fall victim to the hard sell. The TV commercial or the pop-up ad might catch your eye, but spend time investigating and determining what might be the best choice for you.

Not only ask yourself if you want to learn online but also ask if you think you can learn online. That’s a big question. Spend a lot of time answering it before making your decision.

If you plan on being an online learned be a dedicated and prepared one.