As those of us that grew up in the 1970’s and the 1980’s, and maybe even the 1990’s may remember people poking fun at correspondence schools. You will recall that when someone wanted to belittle a person’s education they would ask, “did you get your degree in the mail?”
The joke was because correspondence courses operated by sending class material and even the diploma by mail, and schools that were usually not officially licensed in any way operated them. They were basically the joke of the education industry. However, the Internet came of age more and more opportunities to get a legitimate education at home finally took root. As this method became more and more established many accredited universities began to take notice and then started offering their own distance learning online degrees. And with the weight of the big name schools behind it, distance learning came to life.
One of the weaknesses of the old-school correspondence courses was that any enterprising degree seeker could simply hire someone else to do their work for them and then just mail it in under their name. However, with the new technology being used for today’s distance learning online degree programs the ability to cheat your way through a degree is simply not possible. This increased the legitimacy of distance learning considerably.
The other factor that has helped distance learning is the fact that the big name universities are putting their names on the line. Every time Oxford opens up another degree program it is placing the entire weight of their reputation behind both the degree and distance learning as a method for learning.
And these top universities have gone to great lengths to transfer the in-class style of learning over to a virtual system. And they have done so in a way that allows the distance learning student t meet the standards of not only the university but also the accreditation boards. Because of this today’s online classes have evolved to take on the look and feel of a real classroom.
What’s In A Name?
A University Degree is not simply a simulated sheep skin degree; it is a trust between you and the university that you have received a top-notch education. If you take that degree and use it in the market place to land a job that you do not have the skills to perform then both your reputation and the reputation of the school is tarnished.
For this reason most top universities have gone to great lengths to create distance learning online degree programs that not only reflect the high quality of education that the school is renowned for, but they also require that you have to work for the degree you receive regardless of where you are working from.