Online Education For Dummies 20

Ten Nationally Recognized Online Schools

In This Chapter ▶ Referencing the best known online schools ▶ Providing contact information While it seems almost every college in North America offers some form of online education, a handful do it exceedingly well. In this chapter, we give you contact information and notes on ten of the most widely recognized online schools, listed in alphabetical order.
These institutions have been chosen based on our personal interactions with faculty and staff, as well as our own experiences as students at a few of them. We also conducted our own research, much like the research we suggest you do, browsing each institution’s Web site and calling staff to confirm information such as accreditation, the application process, program structure, and the like. However, just because we’re familiar with these institutions and list them here doesn’t mean there aren’t other institutions out there that are just as good. As you talk to friends, family, and acquaintances who have taken online courses, you can begin to build your own list of favorites. Word-ofmouth is often the best recommendation you can get.
California State University, Chico Center for Regional & Continuing Education 400 W. First St. Chico, CA 95929-0250 Phone 530-898-6105 Web site

fessional and personal development courses completely online. ✓ It’s accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ✓ It’s considered a leader in terms of student support services and faculty development.
The California State University system is huge, and many of its campuses have been in the online education business for a long time. To see what each of its 20 campuses offers in distance and online courses, visit http://www.gateway.
Capella University 225 S. Sixth St., 9th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55402 Phone 888-CAPELLA (227-3552) Web site
What makes Capella University stand out? Take a look at a few reasons:
✓ It offers certificates as well as bachelors, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees completely online. ✓ It’s accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). ✓ It has a large enrollment — more than 28,000 adults.
Florida State University Online 600 W. College Ave. Tallahassee, FL 32306 Phone 850-644-8004 Web site
Here are a few reasons why Florida State University Online makes the grade:
✓ Undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates are available completely online.

✓ As the school’s Web site says, when you complete a degree from FSU online, there’s no distinction between that degree and one you may have earned in a traditional campus-based program. ✓ All degree programs available online are regionally accredited, and some have national accreditation.
Florida Virtual School Suite 200 2145 MetroCenter Blvd. Orlando, FL 32835 Phone 407-513-3587 Web site
The Florida Virtual School (FLVS), which caters to students from kindergarten to high school, has many impressive credentials, such as the following:
✓ Founded in 1997, FLVS is unquestionably the leader in K-12 education in the United States in terms of longevity, size, and quality. Other states’ charter schools and some parochial schools use FLVS’s curriculum. ✓ Florida state legislation ties funding to student performance. This regulates academic standards for curriculum and instructor qualifications, which contributes to student success. ✓ FLVU offers many programs, including summer school for Florida residents as well as out-of-state students through its Global School. A fee applies to out-of-state residents.
Kaplan University Online Programs and Admissions 6301 Kaplan University Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone 866-971-TIME (8463) Web site
Here are a few traits that make Kaplan University stand out:
✓ It offers certificates and bachelors and masters degrees completely online. It also includes Concord Law School, making Kaplan the first university in the nation to offer a law degree completely online.

✓ It’s accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). ✓ Kaplan offers a variety of federal grants and other financial aid options to help you pay for school.
Nova Southeastern University 3301 College Ave. Fort Lauderdale-Davie, FL 33314-7796 Phone 800-541-6682 Web site
Nova Southeastern University offers the following advantages:
✓ Nova Southeastern has a traditional campus based in Ft. Lauderdale, but also supports a sizeable online program with undergraduate and graduate degrees. ✓ It’s accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges. Most disciplines and programs have additional professional accreditations as well. ✓ Some of the best known names in the field of instructional technology and distance education teach in Nova’s Fischler School of Education and Human Services — just ask Kevin. This is where he earned his doctorate degree.
Penn State Online Penn State World Campus The Pennsylvania State University 128 Outreach Building University Park, PA 16802 Phone 800-252-3592 Web site
Wondering about Penn State Online? Here are a few benefits to consider:
✓ Penn State is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Many of the academic programs hold additional accreditations and endorsements from professional associations and agencies. ✓ It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, including postgraduate and undergraduate certificates. ✓ Penn State has been a pioneer in the field of distance education for over 100 years. Penn offered its first correspondence course in 1892.

University of Phoenix 4615 East Elwood St. Phoenix, AZ 85040 Phone 866-766-0766 Web site
The University of Phoenix is a leader in online education for the following reasons, among others:
✓ It’s unquestionably the giant in the higher education market as the largest private institution. The University of Phoenix enrolls over 420,000 students. ✓ It’s accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association, and offers more than 100 degree programs ranging from the bachelor to the doctorate levels, along with certificates. ✓ The university maintains numerous campus sites throughout the United States and Canada for students who prefer some face-to-face instruction.
Walden University 155 Fifth Ave. South Suite 100 Minneapolis, MN 55401 Phone 866-492-5336 Web site
Walden University offers many advantages, such as the following:
✓ It’s accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. ✓ It offers degree programs from the bachelor to the doctorate levels, along with endorsement and certificate programs. ✓ Walden is part of the Laureate International Universities network, a forprofit organization that coordinates educational opportunities around the world in 20 countries.

Western Governors University 4001 South 700 East, Suite 700 Salt Lake City, UT 84107-2533 Phone 866-225-5948 Web site
Western Governors University (which serves all 50 states, despite its name) is tops for the following reasons, among others:
✓ The university takes a unique approach with competency-based courses. You complete a course when you prove mastery of the competencies, however long (or however little time) that takes. ✓ Programs include bachelors and masters degrees with specialized endorsements. ✓ It’s nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

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