Do All Colleges Offer Distance Learning Programs?

Distance learning programs are offered at numerous colleges across the nation, though not all. Read on to learn more about factors that can affect the availability of distance learning programs.

What is Distance Learning?

Distance learning is a method where a student receives information about a certain subject or program without the physical presence of an instructor. Tools utilized in distance learning range from CDs, DVDs and e-mail to the Internet and social networks. Distance learning usually relies on some type of technology in order for instructors to communicate with pupils. This learning method is a continuously growing trend, and it's been around for well over 10 years.

Important Facts About Distance Learning Programs

Degrees & Certificates Undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees are offered via distance learning
Prerequisites Vary with each school and program
Degree Field Numerous fields including Anthropology, Biology, Computer Science, Criminology & Law, Geography, Sociology and many others
Online Availability Online programs are offered by many schools, both traditional and non-traditional

Do All Colleges Offer Distance Learning Programs?

Not all colleges offer distance learning programs, though many do. Multiple methods of distance learning programs and courses are offered at many large colleges and universities across the nation. Some schools (online colleges, for example) offer entire degree programs through distance learning. Small colleges may also offer distance learning programs, though these schools typically stick to physical instruction and a select list of online courses. It may be more difficult to find distance learning programs at a small or private college. Colleges that offer distance learning programs may utilize some of the following tools:

  • Social networks
  • Online forums
  • Web conferencing
  • Webcasts and podcasts
  • Instant messaging and e-mail

Trends Affecting the Expansion of Online Learning

Social changes, economic trends and student enrollment have all been key factors in the expansion of distance learning programs. Some of the top trends that might correlate with the rapid growth of distance learning programs, as noted by Brigham Young University, are as follows:

  • Enrollment numbers are growing faster than colleges can physically handle, requiring more off-campus learning options
  • Students will shop around to find programs and classes that fit their immediate needs and busy schedules
  • The education landscape is changing, with an increase in partnerships and outsourcing of higher education

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