Sunday, November 21, 2010
Online education has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade or so. Gone are the days when people looked at this form of learning with disdain; today, it’s safe to say that these courses have gained in both popularity and respectability. They offer many advantages – they help you save on tuition, commuting and boarding costs, they allow you to learn and earn simultaneously so you don’t have to quit your job, and they make you dedicated learners and good managers of time because you must schedule your day properly if you want to taste success.
Online education provides you with the opportunity to further your education and boost your academic credentials no matter where you are and how old you are. However, all your efforts are bound to go down the drain if you don’t take care to ensure that the school you choose is accredited by the proper agency. When it’s online, it’s always wise to check the reputation of the school before you sign up. Here’s what you need to do to make sure that you choose an accredited online school to earn your degree:
Decide what you want to study – choose your major first before you choose your college. If you’re not too particular about your degree, then opt for one from the best online college.
Check out the options available for the degree of your choice; make a list of all the colleges that offer them.
Run a search of these names and pick out the top ten.
Choose the best option from this list based on convenience (if you need to attend practical sessions, it’s best to choose a college close to where you live so you don’t mess up your schedule) and cost (check to see if you can afford tuition and other costs).
Check to see if your choice is accredited by the right agency, one that is recognized by the US Department of Education. The best known and widely accepted accrediting agencies are the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
If none of the above are listed as the accrediting agency, check with the Department of Education to see if they approve of the agency that has approved of the online school.
Check to see if the school is capable of issuing federally funded financial aid – if so, it is accredited by a credible agency.
And finally, before you choose to study online, check if the credits you’ll earn are transferable and accepted by other schools or employers. If the world at large (or your small world in particular) does not accept your credit, your efforts are in vain and your money is wasted.
This guest post is contributed by Carrie Oakley, who writes on the topic of online college . Carrie welcomes your comments at her email id: carrie.oakley1983(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
How Good is Online Education in Photography?
It’s not a discipline that demands a formal education, however, more and more people prefer to earn a degree in photography because it gives them an edge when it comes to finding suitable employment. Some people take the traditional route – they choose an arts degree that allows them to specialize in photography or visual communication straight out of high school and prepare for a career as a photographer during the four years they spend in college.
Others become photographers because they’re passionate about their craft – they see their cameras as an extension of their hands and as instruments to bring their creativity to life; and because of this, they choose to turn their passion into their profession. They gain employment through their expertise and experience and don’t accord much importance to formal education. However, there may come a time when a degree could come in handy, especially if it means a promotion or a change to a better job. The question that needs answering then is if an online degree will suffice or if you have to go back to school to study photography from an academic point of view.
While the choice is personal and depends on factors that vary according to each individual, most people find that they prefer to take the online route if:
· They don’t want to give up their regular job in exchange for a degree
· They cannot afford to take time off work and go back to school full-time
· They don’t have the money to finance a regular degree at a private art school
· They are able to find a good online school and degree that meets their needs and is affordable
Some people do go back to a full-time degree even though they have a good job and are well set in their profession if they gain admission to prestigious institutions and popular courses. They know that their degree, once completed, will open more professional doors to them than ever before. Also, the schools they join offer golden opportunities to work with masters in photography and learn firsthand from them techniques and skills that cannot be learned or picked up elsewhere.
Any education in photography, online or traditional, is worth it only when augmented with skills in and a passion for photography. A degree only adds to what you already know; it cannot teach you to be a photographer if you don’t have creativity running through your veins. And the only way to boost your creative instincts and perfect your skill is through practice – when you continue to hone your craft and practice even though you’re at the top of your profession, you grow and become a better photographer and artist.
This guest post is contributed by Becky Patterson, who writes on the topic of Become a Photographer . She can be reached at beckypatterson89[@]gmail[.]com.