Facts About Non-Traditional Education

Non-traditional education includes night classes, online classes, personal enrichment and lifelong learning, independent study and more. Read on for more information on the types of non-traditional education and the benefits you could gain from them. Find out what you could study as a non-traditional student.

What Is Non-Traditional Education?

Non-traditional education is education that is offered in ways other than common daytime college classrooms. There are many versions of non-traditional education, such as college-prep education, evening courses, independent learning, online learning, residencies, cross-registration and one-on-one learning.

Independent study allows you to choose a topic of your interest that corresponds to your concentration and create a class around it. For instance, if you major in English, perhaps a course in novels turned into movies is for you. Or if you are majoring in History, maybe you'd enjoy learning about 18th-century English social classes.

Cross-registration is something often found in online or individualized programs. In this case, you'll take courses with one college, but if another college offers a course that yours does not, you can cross-register to take courses at both colleges.

Residencies provide online students the opportunity to meet during a small timeframe (such as a weekend). You'll meet professors and have a highly intensive study of special topics or courses. It'll also afford you the opportunity to meet your cohort students, or students who complete a program following the schedule that you follow.

Common VersionsCollege prep, independent learning, online learning, cross-registration, residencies
Course Options Almost any subject at any level; usually not hands-on study or lab work; research methods or art courses can happen with one-on-one individualized study
Student AvailabilityHigh-school students, working adults, stay-at-home parents, military personnel may enroll
Decision FactorsOnline study can take as much time as traditional classes; you need to be organized and self-motivated

What Subjects Can I Study?

One of the advantages of non-traditional study is that you can study almost any subject at any level. The only subjects that may be difficult to study are ones that require hands-on study or lab work. For this reason, courses in the natural sciences, allied health and technical areas are uncommon for non-traditional study.

Studies that are not offered through online study, such as research methodology and art courses are available through one-on-one study, where teachers can provide guided, individualized study. Some of the programs available throughthe programs available through these non-traditional study techniques are:

• Japanese culture

• Middle East studies

• Nutrition

• Historical fiction

• Vampires in literature

• Psychology of fandom

• Literature

• American history

• European history

• Psychology

• Childhood education

• Anthropology

• Business

Who Can Benefit from Non-Traditional Study?

These programs may be of interest to a large number of people. College-prep courses can be helpful for students who want to earn college credit while they are still in high school. Online study may appeal to working adults, stay-at-home mothers and military personnel.

Some students cannot handle the structured style of traditional colleges. If this sounds like you, you'll be better off with online, independent or one-on-one study. Also, if your college (or any other college near you) does not offer the program you want to major in, online study and individualized majors are helpful.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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