General Question

Sakata's avatar

Anyone have experience with the online universities such as Penn Foster, University of Phoenix Online, etc... ?

Asked by Sakata (3313 points ) February 4th, 2009

Just wondering how the whole “degree from home” thing works.

Do you do the entire thing at home on the computer?
How easy is it to lose attention & focus?
How hard is it?

Any other input would be awesome as well. Not really into links on this one as much as I am personal experiences.

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8 Answers

galileogirl's avatar

I got my BS live but have taken post grad courses through Stanford, UCLA and UC San Diego. I found it difficult to take more than 1 class at a time because of the amount of work. (I also work full time)

I don’t actually see how online works for undergrad classes where it is a lot of lecture/test because it doesn’t lend itself to realtime question/answers. Also some gen ed classes like an art class with one on one feedback doesn’t seem likely.

However it is great for seminars because you are not constrained by a one hour class session when the discussion gets going. What I have seen is the weekly class opens up on say a Thursday, by Monday you have to post your assignment and by Wednesday you have to respond to 2 or 3 other students’ assignments. Basically you have a weekend to put together and post and you end up responding to lots of others-great learning.

Sakata's avatar

Not sure if that’s the same as these programs.
I’ve been looking at a career diploma in small engine repair both for work, home, and, well, whatever else. Apparently they send you everything you need and you take exams online when you finish each section (every month or so.) It’s listed as a one year course that you can finish in “as little as nine months.”

Here’s the one from Penn Foster.

… and after a bit of research I just noticed that Penn Foster is pretty much the only place to get that particular diploma.

Sooner_Coolkat's avatar

A few friends of mine are going to University of Phoenix and they don’t seem to have much trouble getting through it but most of UOP’s assignments are group projects where you have to work with and depend on others online. That really wasn’t something that I wanted to do so I decided to attend Colorado Tech online. I also thought that CTU sounded better and they are internationally accredited which is also cool. However, they put a serious workload on their students and will totally disenroll you if you need to take any time off of school. They also have one group project per class which kind of blows. Also, the way that you pay for classes is very cryptic and confusing. Another guy I know went to Regis and I avoided that one because they make you take religious classes which I didn’t think would help me learn more about IT.

Is it hard? Some classes are
Lose attention and focus? No, everything has due dates(not self paced)
Do everything at home? Yes, although many universities offer hybrid degrees.

Sakata's avatar

At least the fee is laid out pretty simply at PF. I’m pretty much planning on signing up in a few weeks.

As soon as I can get slightly more financially sound lol

galileogirl's avatar

I don’t want to sound elitist but I would be leery of an institution that calls itself a university when in reality it is a trade school. I had thought from the ads I have seen that University of Phoenix offered a BS or BA which are degrees not job certification.

Sakata's avatar

You could be right simply because I’ve never heard of a “career diploma” anywhere else.

Response moderated
Rozee's avatar

@Sakata Spend a great deal of time reviewing all the materials provided by the school. As has been noted, there are differences between degrees and diplomas. The most common diplomas are those awarded at high school graduations. If you are interested in a trade school, you are probably better off with a face-to-face class environment that allows direct hands-on work with a teacher who can check and guide you work toward your goal. Also, look for a school that provides career placement for when you complete the program.

If you are looking for a degree program, be sure the college/university is accredited regionally (international or national accreditation is sometimes a problem) so that your courses could be transferred to other school in the event you decide one term at the school is all you want to do. A great deal of time and money is lost when coursework does not transfer.

Regarding online learning, it is very hard work to take an online course. Unlike traditional classrooms, you have to participate fully all of the time to complete the courses successfully. You have to have strong discipline as well as have the ability and the desire to work on your own. You must have excellent reading, writing, and computer skills to keep up with the amount of work that is required.

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