Online Courses Prove to be the Sturdiest Sinking Ship
By Angelita Williams
The Government Accountability Office recently administered several undercover tests to report on the true nature of online college courses and the end-goal that most of their for-profit institutions look toward when recruiting students. Amidst the high quantities of bad press that online colleges have recently received, this report was not exactly what they hoped for, especially with the changing political atmosphere. The reports indicated that many recruiters encouraged students to lie about their finances to loan agencies and that they additionally lied to students about the amount of salary they would receive through specific degree programs. While these results honed in on specific online colleges and courses, this does not necessarily mean that every online school participates in this type of behavior.
Despite this study, online colleges and courses remain popular among a wide spectrum of students. Many more students have reported positive results with online education when compared to the negative results that news agencies seem to focus on. While it is uncertain how long online education will continue on its course from for-profit institutions, it is clear that the interest of traditional schools in entering the online education realm is proving to be the saving grace for the new industry. Even if for-profit schools go under within the next few years, online courses will continue to be available via major public universities and even Ivy League universities like Harvard and Yale. These schools were in fact some of the first to even offer online courses, before the for-profit companies jumped on the bandwagon.
Online courses in general have allowed many students to earn supplemental degrees, Associate’s degrees, and every degree onward. Students no longer seem afraid to enroll in online courses, but seem to trust that each program will earn them a new income and career. In times of economic despair, online courses have helped revive many unemployed individuals and allowed them to focus on a new future goal. While it may be true that for-profit schools will not last much longer, our reliance on the internet has proved to be a major part of online education. What better way to earn a degree than to do it from your laptop? This affords students the flexibility to study and attend class from anywhere in the world.
Technology proves to be a reluctant player for many people who are set in their ways, and the bad press has only attempted to discourage new students from enrolling in online classes. However, with the advent of more traditional colleges joining the online community, it seems certain that online courses will prove themselves to the rest of the education community and will be the standing force of online education.