Distance education sounds like a wonderful alternative to formal education systems. It offers freedom from scheduled courses and the need to be physically present in a classroom setting. These conveniences can be the propelling factors that finally eliminate all the built up reasons why one has continued to put off advanced educational opportunities. But are these programs too good to be true? Who regulates distance learning programs? Can one really learn as readily and effectively via an online course versus the in-person classroom experience? And, if so, what does this mean for the changing climate of the educational world?
The distance education and training council is an organization that specifically regulates the standards of distance education programs. Just as any educational institution is regulated so too are distance education programs. Depending on what school, program or institute is offering the distance education program regulation standards can vary just as they do for formalized non-online institutions. Such institutions are placed in different categories, i.e. Junior college, private colleges, and universities, to name a few. Similar sub-categories can be found within the distance education field. Some programs offer single classes for specialized interests while others go so far as to offer full accredited advanced degrees.
Regulation is still important regardless of the distance education program sub-category. Regulation make sures that the quality of education is accurate, enriching and of quality. The distance education and training council works diligently to make sure that the quality of such programs that meet their standards are maintained and supported. The distance education and training council goal is to provide the public with an education that is both rewarding and valuable.
Because the demand for distance education is vastly growing so too are the distance online programs. More programs are being created, expanded and improved than ever before. With more demand, higher standards can be set. The average mean of classroom achievement is increased across the board and institutions with exceptional teaching credentials are becoming more and more selective about the students they accept or deny. This raises the bar for all distance education programs. This also gives the distance education and training council a higher standard to maintain and protect.
As education improves, so do standards. As demand increases, so do the institutions that provide the “product” or education. Without the distance education and training council the public might not have any means to be able to distinguish between the more reputable online programs versus the novice programs that may take your money, offer you a shabby curriculum and “run away” with your money, quickly, to the next unsuspecting student “victim”. Rest assured that the distance education and training council is making sure this unfortunate occurrence is a rarity among the vast positive and fruitful distance education experiences.