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How to Choose an Online Program

What to Look for in an Online Program

There's no denying that the world is changing fast, and it's the professionals who are equipped to meet the ever-evolving demands in their fields who blaze new trails and rise as strategic leaders. 

Before your educational journey begins, you have a big decision to make: Fromwhich university will you earn your degree? With so many online higher education options available, it's imperative you amass all the facts to choose the best school for you.

Be sure the online program and the university you choose measures up in the following five areas:

  1. Accreditation.

    Not every school or degree is created equal, as some online programs and institutions lack credible accreditation.

    Why does accreditation matter?

    Without valid accreditation, your degree may not hold much weight. Accreditation confirms that a university or degree program meets specific standards and academic criteria. Accreditation also guarantees employers that your degree was earned from an institution that operates according to integrity, aptitude and superior quality.

    So, before you invest and enroll in a university, it's crucial to verify that the school and your chosen degree program is recognized by one of the nation's leading accrediting agencies.

  2. Credit Transfer Policy.

    If you've already completed some bachelor's or master's coursework at another institution, you probably want most of these credits to transfer and count toward the online degree you've selected. That's why a university's credit transfer policy is important to review.

    Keep in mind, depending on the program you're pursuing – its requirements, subject matter, etc. – not all credits may be applicable and, therefore, may not transfer. But if you can find an online university that will accept most of your prior credits, you'll be off to a great start.

  3. Top-Rated Faculty and Professors.

    When students select a university, they often don't research who they will be directly learning from. However, in order for you to advance your knowledge and skillset, it's essential that you receive a first-rate education. This ultimately starts and ends with expert, seasoned professors.

    Read faculty profiles to see if they have real-life experience in your industry, boast distinguished credentials, and can help you achieve your educational goals and further your career.

  4. Flexibility.

    As a busy working adult who has strategically mastered the art of balancing a career and a family, you need a university that understands how full your plate is and offers degree programs that tailor to you.

    That means flexible learning paths, convenient learning formats, an adjustable learning pace and manageable class loads. Check to see if the degree program you desire is set up with your success in mind. If it doesn't seem feasible with your schedule, it's probably not going to be a good fit.

  5. Student Support.

    If all you've ever known is an in-person education, an online program can be a big adjustment for you. Without question, you'll do great. Nevertheless, you'll have questions and need support, and that's where a student-centered university can really help you thrive. When researching the school, ask yourself:

    • Does the university assign each student an individual academic advisor?
    • Does the school offer enrollment and financial aid counseling?
    • If I experience technical issues, does the school offer 24-hour tech support?
    • Can I talk to a career counselor and receive comprehensive career planning?

    Remember, you're not just investing in a degree program, you're investing in all the resources the university has to offer.

Through Central Michigan University Online, students and professionals like you are earning renowned degrees and preparing for 21st-century careers. From the convenience of anywhere, CMU engages students in a highly interactive learning environment that:

  • Consists of top-rated academic programs.
  • Promotes collaborative learning.
  • Upholds leading accreditations.
  • Delivers the same low-cost tuition nationwide.
  • Welcomes military students and their families at all levels of education.

Reach your potential by earning a degree for the career you want in a university that fits. Discover where a CMU degree can lead you.

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