Buyer, be aware. Unless you have prior proof to the contrary, you must assume that online courses are not transferable to a main university. With financing so difficult for universities these days, they do not ALWAYS transfer credits from one state university to another. Always look for the words accredited college or university (Remember that it is the institution itself and not an individual course that can be accredited.) and find out who accredits them. If they are not a part of one of the following, they are not approved by the DEA:
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- North Central Association (for) of Colleges and Schools (NCA)
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE)
- New England Association (for) of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Check with the DEA before you believe the name they are using is an accrediting agency. A course from an accredited college or university is accredited. The College of Teachers has been cited as an accrediting institution when the only “affiliation” is that the online business uses its rules. Do not fall for expecting that a logo on the site is enough to prove accreditation.(If the online college is unable to help you get federal money for college, they are not approved by DEA.)
Check with your employer, prospective employer, or your university business office (counselors may not know) to KNOW that your online college courses will benefit you. They may request to see the syllabus and reading list for the courses you take.
Find a friend or relative or even a stranger who will tell you which online courses worked for him. It is your responsibility to make certain that the transcript for a course you have passed reaches your degree offering university. The transcript should not distinguish between an online course and an in class course.
Be aware that lab requirements are not supported online. No professional licensing, business, or university will accept a credit that should have had a hands on lab and does not.
Almost every major University (and many minor ones) offers online courses. The flexibility and variety available make a college degree feasible for many who might otherwise be unable to get that degree. Having a sheep skin is more important in the 21st century than ever before. It may be a minefield of money grabbers out there, but the result is worth doing some research before you sign up.