Online Masters In Education Programs

6 August 2011

online masters in education programs
Which university should I attend for my online Masters Degree?

I am considering a Masters Degree in Education or Human Services. Should I attend a traditional university that also has online programs?

1. Regent University
2. Liberty University
3. University of Cincinnati
4 California Baptist University
5. Chapman University

Or,

Should I attend a university that specializes in accelerated on campus and online programs?

1. University of Phoenix
2. Argosy University
3. Ashford University

Did you attend any of these universities? Which one will be the best choice?
6. Grand Canyon University

There are a large number of factors that go into making such a large decision. Think about how many times in your life you are likely to spend between $20,000 to $40,000 and you can start to comprehend the enormity of this decision. Now where did you go to get advice about one of the four or five biggest spending decisions of your life? I’ll answer – the internet. If you can trust the internet for help with this perhaps you can trust the internet with your education.

Factors to consider: Cost, reputation, expected education you will get for the money, and your comfort level.

Cost: Your first choice should be a school either based on a campus or online that has a campus in your state because you might get lower tuition from attending an in state school. If that is not an option then price the tuition cost of each school you are considering. Keep in mind that if you have some college credit already that the school that will transfer the most of those credits might come in at a lower price even if tuition is higher because you will have to take fewer classes.

Reputation: Sad to say for profit online only programs are still looked upon by some snobs as “degree mills” no matter what the real story is. I believe that this will change over time just like how people used to think of online dating 10 years ago and how it is viewed today. In the meantime the smarter money might be spent attending a program whose name is not associated with the online education debates going on today. There are tons of schools that have traditional campus based reputations that are now offering programs online. From Notre Dame, Villanova, Penn State, Duke and many more larger well known universities are getting into the business of offering educations online. I would suggest that in today’s business and education environment that your degree will look better on a resume if it is from a school not caught up in the headlines as an online for profit school. If you can find a school like that lean that direction.

Me Experience: I have known more than one person that has gotten a Masters in Education from Dominican University (http://www.dominicanu.com) and they liked the program because of different features of the program that I will not list here for fear of being accused of things from other posters. Suffice to say it met the standards I mentioned earlier.

Bottom Line: Narrow down your choices based on the above information to 3-5 schools. Then Google the heck out those schools. Call and talk to their admissions and counselors and have substantial conversations with them. Have your list of questions for them ready. Make sure to ask the cost per credit hour so you can compare apples to apples. Make sure to ask about additional fees they might charge such as application, class, lab, or graduation so that you don’t get stuck paying extra for unexpected fees. Also, they might not answer but you should ask what their drop out rate for your program is, and what their graduation rate is. Real schools are likely to have higher graduation rates than the other for profit online schools.

Good Luck!

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