How To Choose An Online Psychology Program
Online learning is more accessible than ever and convenient for all schedules, and online psychology degrees are very easy to achieve. This is a favored option for many potential psychology students, and it is very helpful for those students who hold a full time job, have a schedule that is not conducive to class room schedules or those who are unable to get to the college stetting due to lack of public transportation or no personal car. The benefit of online learning is that is basically helps students to obtain a degree right from their own home.
More and more accredited universities are offering online options for degrees, including psychology. The ITC, Instructional Technology Council (ITC), which represents nearly 400 institutions that offer distance education courses in the United States, Canada and around the world, surveys its members each year about online learning. According to the research findings of ITC, distance education enrollments grew by 6.52 percent from fall 2011 to fall 2012, and distance education is the option for many students and colleges are meeting their student’s demands. An online psychology degree is an option for just about anybody - Are you considering earning an online psychology degree? Before you choosing any online degree, including a degree in psychology, there are several factors that you need to consider.
What You Need in an Online Program for a Psychology Degree
The American Psychological Association investigated the option of online psychology degrees. They identified the need for an online psychology degree to meet the following qualifications:
There are many reasons to choose an online university over a brick and mortar university. However, traditional college also has many advantages over online universities. If you are thinking about an online degree in psychology versus a classroom setting, you should consider the following:
Assess Your Psychology Goals
What are your long term career goals? Do you need a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to meet these goals? Does the online university offer the level of degree you are seeking? For example, if you need a master’s degree but the university only offers a bachelors degree, you will then need to find another online university after completion of the BA, and you need to get your transcripts into tip-top shape in order to apply to a new school.
Know the job options in your field and if the university offers job placement assistance or vocational counseling. Also, know the internship requirements for each of the degrees and internship placement options. If the university is not familiar with where you are located, it is possible that there will a limitation on number and location of internships. For example, if you live in a rural area, the nearest approved internship site might be over 50 miles away. This is not a feasible option.
Need to Assess Time Management Skills
Are you able to manage your time and complete deadlines with little to no prompting or supervision? Can you manage having little to no contact with others and still meet deadlines? Any online degree, including a psychology degree, requires the ability to manage time, so consider if you have mastered this skill before you start the program. If you perform better with direct supervision or constant prompting, then an online degree is probably not a good match for your educational goals. Can you complete deadlines without much supervision and in-class assistance? On the other hand, if you are very self sufficient and are able to initiate and complete tasks with little supervision, then online education is a good match for you.
If you have decided that an online degree in psychology is best for you, then it is important that you choose an accredited program. You want your degree to be honored. In addition, going to an accredited school means that the educational credits can transfer to other universities (traditional or online) if you seek further education. It is vital that you research your school of choice to ensure that this school is accredited and that you will be eligible for licensure after completion. It is important to research the accreditation that the school carries. A good source is to go to the United States Department of education website to ensure the accreditation is valid.
Online degrees are becoming increasingly common, so this is a great opportunity for those who are seeking a degree in psychology but need a more flexible schedule. Remember - The degree needs to be obtained from an accredited program if it is to have any significant career value within most organizations.
- Kim B.
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