Rhode Island Monthly Higher Learning 2014 : Page 11

world of online education). Degrees are limited and focused on pre-professional tracks, but for less than $6,000 per year this all-you-can-eat curriculum is garnering praise from some of the nation’s top educators and politicians. pros and cons to this emerging technology. Like any major investment, it pays to take the time to explore your options, understand the value and select the right program for your needs and budget. HL Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed., is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC, a Providence-based educational consulting firm that provides strategic individual counseling for college-bound students. If you are considering online education, there are a few critical questions you should ask before embarking on your virtual adventure: ➊ Am I self-motivated and do I have a history of learning well independently? ➋ Is the college or university accredited by a respected entity? (For a list of government-approved accrediting agencies, visit ed.gov.) ➌ What is the cost per course or total cost per semester? ➍ Is federal, state or college based aid available? If so, what is the average award? ➎ Will I be required to spend any time on campus or is this a 100 percent online degree? ➏ What academic support is available? ➐ What percentage of students return for a second year and graduate in four to six years? ➑ If the degree is leading to licensure (teaching, nursing, social work, etc.), do the degree requirements meet my state’s standards and are there practicums or other requirements that I will need to do in addition to coursework? Online education is exciting and offers many students the opportunity to study where and when they want. Still, there are CritiCal Questions to ask BROWN UNIVERSITY Pre-College Programs n n n n n n n Challenge yourself with Ivy League academics Prepare to succeed in a college environment Meet exceptional students from around the world More than 300 Academic Courses Sessions 1 to 7 Weeks in Length College Credit Courses SPARK -Middle School Science Program www.brown.edu/summer RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I HIGHER LE ARNING I 2014 11

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