DISPELLING COMMON MYTHS IN DISTANCE LEARNING SCHOOLS Extended Insights
Dec 12, 2007, 12:37
Helping parents find the truth in distance learning providers
By Doug Covey - CEO Blueprint Education
November 01, 2007
When a distance learning school is recommended, parents need to rise above the common myths associated with such schools. With so many distance learning options, parents are often confused on where to get started.
To know the difference between a distance learning school and a traditional school, parents should first dispel the seven myths and find the truth in distance learning providers.
Myth #1 - Distance learning courses are easier than traditional courses.
On the contrary - distance learning courses can prove more challenging depending on the students' learning style. A student in distance learning school must be self-motivated and goal-oriented.
Myth #2 - Distance learning students do less work than traditional students.
There are circumstances when distance learning students complete courses at a faster rate than traditional students. This does not necessarily mean they are doing less work. The learning environment in a traditional school is dramatically different; transition periods, breaks, classroom management are just a few interruptions in the course of a day for a traditional student. If the learning environment is the same for both learners, course work will likely be completed at the same rate.
Myth #3 - Distance learning schools are as expensive as private schools.
Prices vary. Some schools have semester tuition rates which include books and materials. Others charge tuition plus additional fees per course. Student needs (a credit or complete course load) will determine the costs. Parents should ask what is included in the tuition cost regardless of private or distance learning schools.
Myth #4 - Distance learning students don't get enough socialization.
Most distance learning students are involved in a wide variety of outside activities; they interact with a broad spectrum of people and make positive contributions to their communities. Experience has shown that distance learning students are well socialized and able to make lasting friendships across age and cultural divides.
Myth #5 - Distance learning credits won't transfer to traditional high schools.
Each year, hundreds of public and private schools seek accreditation. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed years ago by American universities and secondary schools. The goal of accreditation is to evaluate, verify and improve each school's quality. As long as the school is accredited, the credits should be able to be transferred.
Myth #6 - Struggling or troubled teens only take Distance Learning courses.
Distance learning schools focus on all types of learners for a variety of reasons: credit recovery, credit acceleration, schedule conflicts to name a few. Students might be professional athletes, accelerated learners, home school students, struggling teens, actors/actresses and even adult learners.
Myth #7 - Colleges won't accept diplomas from distance learning schools.
Students who have completed their work through a distance learning school have had and will continue to have their diplomas accepted by colleges around the country. In order to be widely accepted, a diploma must come from a distance learning school that is accredited from one of the six regional accrediting commissions. As long as this is covered, colleges will likely accept diplomas from distance learning schools in the same manner they accept diplomas from traditional schools.
ABOUT BLUEPRINT EDUCATION Blueprint Education is a non-profit organization that has been helping students succeed since 1969. Services offered by Blueprint Education include distance learning, curriculum design, and alternative education. Blueprint Education's programs and courses meet the high quality standards of the NCA Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, CITA, and the NCAA. For more information call 800-426-4952 or visit their website www.blueprinteducation.org.