Distance Learning, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

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Life in the USA
Education in America
Colleges and Universities

Distance Learning
With the advent of the Internet, universities have reached out to include distance learning in their basket of options. Many universities have programs for which students do not have to be physically present on campus to take their classes and earn their degrees. Students in these programs must fulfill all the usual requirements of admission to the university in addition to those necessary for the degree program they choose. Under some programs, students must be physically present on the university campus at least once or twice a term for orientation, to meet professors, or to take final examinations.

Distance education is well suited to people who must work full time, or for those whose location does not allow full time presence at a university campus. The distance learner needs to have good time management skills and be well motivated to work on his or her own. He or she also needs to be conversant with the technologies used: CD Rom, Web, videoconferencing and streaming video. Not every course or degree is available through distance learning, but the list is certainly growing.

Outside the major universities, a number of for-profit colleges, some of which advertise quite heavily, have made an industry out of distance learning, offering little or no instruction at actual physical locations.



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