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How to Succeed with Distance Learning

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By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

Gen and Kelly Tanabe can answer your question in Expert Advice.




Know the difference between certificates and degrees.

Some distance learning programs are aimed at providing certificates while others award degrees. Make sure that the program meets your academic goals.




Consider course selection.

Make sure that there are enough courses offered to meet your needs and interests. You can do this by looking at the course catalog. Also, investigate how large the classes are to determine how much attention you will receive as a student.




Find the best format for you.

There are distance-learning courses that are entirely online and those that require periodic meetings on campus. Some students combine distance-learning courses with on-campus courses. Some follow the same schedule and pace as traditional quarters and semesters while others are accelerated, which means that you cover a larger amount of material in a shorter amount of time. Distance learning programs offer a variety of formats, meaning that you will need to choose the one that works best for you.




Know what kind of support will be offered.

Investigate how much support is offered for distance learners. How much will you be able to interact with your professor? Is there support for technical problems? Will you have access to the same resources and facilities as on-campus students?


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501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College

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