Careers & Education

What is cyber college?

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You don't have to sit in a classroom anymore to attend class with cyber college
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Understanding what is cyber college includes the benefits of distance learning

Cyber college is an interesting concept. Known better as distance learning, cyber college may have begun before the advent of computers and cyber-anything.

In 1728 when a teacher, Caleb Philips, offered shorthand classes via regular mail. Over 100 years later in 1858, the University of London is said to have offered formal degrees long distance. Flash ahead to 1996 when Jones International University begins the first online university to offer fully-accredited online degrees.

How does cyber college work?

Cyber college developed as a direct result of the internet and all of its capabilities.

Online classes can be taken for credit toward a specific degree, to update skills for professions such as teachers and health professionals, or simply as enrichment courses.

A company known as ed2go aligns itself with over 1800 colleges and universities to provide the knowledge rather than full degrees. For example, if you want to learn more about writing grants for your organization, you can take any number of courses from a professional grant writer who will teach you the tricks of the trade.

Many times at the end of the cyber course participants take a final exam. If they receive a passing grade, they are granted a certificate that proves to their employer or clients that they are qualified to write grants.

Nuts and bolts of studying online

The internet is to thank for making cyber college and distance learning available to the general public, especially those who cannot make the time or the trip to sit in a conventional college or university classroom.

By connecting to a computer, distance learners can take classes in a number of ways. Web conferencing services make it possible to hear the lecture while also seeing what the instructor and other participants see on the instructor’s computer screen. There is also often a chat feature with which participants can interact with the instructor in real time.

Another way to attend cyber college is by email or by using a password to logon to a secure website. The instructor releases lectures, homework and quizzes through the website, and often answers student questions through an online forum accessible only by the registered participants.

Who are these students?

Students can be anyone who is not able to get to a brick and mortar classroom. Reasons may be scheduling issues, families to tend to, or even military service. In fact, according to military sources, military distance learning programs are one of the most popular methods of study for members of the military. It allows flexibility to learn in between deployments and across duty stations.

Another segment of the population to take advantage of cyber college is workers who have been unemployed for extended periods of time. While searching for jobs, they are also honing existing skills, learning new ones or changing careers entirely.

To learn more about how to get your college degree online, do an internet search in the field you wish to study. Some of the search terms may be “cyber college,” “distance learning” or “online learning.”

With a little work, cyber college could be your ticket to a new adventure in learning. Make sure your chosen program is accredited before plonking down your hard-earned cash, but if you do a little research, you may find yourself earning a degree or a certificate more easily than expected.

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