What are the requirements to enroll at an online degree program?
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What are the requirements to enroll at an online degree program?

Monday January 5, 2009

What are the requirements to enroll at an online degree program?
Online degree programs are flexible and offer a lot of convenience for the students, but as traditional schools online colleges also have some requirements. These demands differ from one program to the other but there are some general requirements you must answer to.
First of all, depending on your choice of a degree, you will need the correct educational background. For example if you are interested in an online Masters Program, a Bachelors degree will be necessary for you to even think about enrolling. On the other hand if you are after a lower level degree like Bachelors degree or a certificate a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) will be enough, in which case the transfer credits will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. That calls for your initiative where it is up to you to inform yourself about specific requirements of each online program you wish to apply for.

Former education must agree with your choice of degree program

Yet this is not all there is to it, since schools are entitled to their own specific requirements, like GPA (Grad Point Average), transfer credits or age limit, some even require work experience or having an employment. Some schools require you to pass the admission test as a part of the application process. Other online learning programs do not. Again it is up to you to find that out.

As for the technical part, you must have an up-to-date computer, with constant Internet access, preferably of high-speed bandwidth since after all this will be your main means of communication with teachers and other students. Some classes might even require a microphone.


Computer and Internet connection for communication

Getting all of the equipment is only the beginning. Potential online learners must be apt with basic computer technology. First of all you must be familiar with computer terminology and jargon, such as browser, application, plug-in, what it means to post, etc. In some programs, students are asked to visit a Web site, where they can see and hear the instructor as well as the other students and they have a button to press if they have something to say or ask. Aside form this kind of a virtual classroom, students also communicate with each other by visiting discussion forums, via e-mail, chats, instant messaging. This way they exchange opinions, share experiences, help each other with problems. For this purpose, a future online student must be able to perform various computer operations like:

  • Using keyboard and mouse
  • Managing files and folders: save, name, copy, move, backup, rename, delete, check properties
  • Software installation, security and virus protection
  • Using software applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, email client
  • Internet skills (connecting, accessing, using browsers) and ability to perform online research, using various search engines and library databases
  • Using online communication tools such as email (create, send, receive, reply, print, send/receive attachments), discussion boards (read, search, post, reply, follow threads), chats, and messengers.

And finally, you must be an active disciplined learner, willing to search information and reference on your own and good at expressing yourself through writing. Bear in mind that you alone will be in charge of your studying tasks. Therefore you shouldn't be shy in asking questions or help when you face any kind of problem.


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