Author Archives: rebecca genter

Accredited Online Bible College Programs

biblecollegesHow Online Bible Colleges are Accredited
Reputable Bible colleges or organizations of religious study maintain high educational standards to achieve accreditation from nationally recognized educational entities. Agencies, organizations, and other authorities which accredit schools must be recognized as legitimate institutions themselves. The two main approving bodies that recognize accrediting agencies are the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation awarded to schools is validated when it comes from agencies that are approved by either of these groups since these national accrediting agencies oversee all aspects of accreditation. Special purpose institutions, including those offering religious or theological programs, are no exception.

In recent years, many online courses in the field of religious studies have appeared; unfortunately, not all of them are accredited. For those students and adult learners seeking to attend a Bible college, accreditation is an important consideration when choosing a program. Prospective students should always verify a potential online Bible college’s accreditation status. To help in that process, we’ve created the following list of reputable organizations well recognized for their accrediting authority in the field of Bible Colleges:

Accrediting Associations for Online Bible Colleges

The following associations are recognized by the USDE and CHEA as being legitimate agencies for accrediting Bible colleges and their online programs:

  • The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), formerly The Accreditating Association of Bible Colleges (AABC): Founded in 1947, the ABHE has been in the forefront of accrediting Bible colleges. ABHE accredits approximately 200 seminaries, theological schools and Biblical/ministerial programs offering undergraduate and graduate programs throughout the US and Canada. It also endorses select online distance learning programs. For a list of institutions that offer distance learning programs accredited by ABHE, you can email them at info@abhe.org. For more information visit their FAQ section. ABHE FAQ
  • The Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS): This faith based organization provides educational standards for religious schools of the Jewish faith granting post-secondary degrees. It also offers accreditation to a few online school distance learning programs. AARTS provides no website and asks to be contacted via phone (212-363-1991) or email Keith Sharfman, Director at k.sharfman.aarts@gmail.com.
  • The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS): ATS is an accrediting agency for over 270 Christian (including non-denominational)and Jewish graduate schools offering post-baccalaureate programs in ministry and other theological disciplines, including qualifying online distance learning programs. A list of online programs accredited by ATS can be accessed here. ATS Online Distance Education List
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS): This is a national organizing agency that accredits post-secondary Christian institutions offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in religious education. It also approves online distance learning programs that meet its criteria. To see a list of the programs TRACS accredits, see the information at the following link. TRACS Members
  • The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC): Accredits online programs including those from religious institutions and colleges.

Remember, reputable online college websites will always specify their accreditation credentials from one or more of the aforementioned agencies.

Online Bible College Programs

Online distance religious programs are outgrowths of traditional Bible colleges or religious institutions. They allow the learner to experience more flexibility to earn a religious studies degree while working around personal, family and job schedules. Coursework will cover the history, surrounding culture, development, theology and impact of the religion being studied.

For those concerned about the cost of college programs, Bible college students are eligible for the same financial aid opportunities as other post-secondary students. Students should check with financial aid advisors at prospective schools about available grants and scholarships. Overall, an online degree can cost much less than one obtained through traditional college programs. Following is a sampling of available accredited programs offered at Bible colleges and religious institutions:

  • Catholic Distance University, based in Virginia. Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees offered in Theology or Catholic Studies. Catholic Distance University
  • Grace Bible College, based in Michigan. Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees may be earned in business, leadership or ministry. Grace Bible College Online
  • Hebrew College, based in Massachusetts. Master of Arts degrees offered in Jewish Studies or Jewish Liberal Studies. Hebrew College Online
  • Hope International University, based in southern California and Seattle, Washington. A variety of degree programs are offered, including those in Christian ministry or Biblical studies. Hope International University
  • Johnson University Online, associated with Johnson University in Florida and Tennessee. Online programs offer various degrees in Biblical studies or ministry. Johnson University Online

Interested students should check out the links provided for more information.

List of American Psychological Association (APA) Accredited Programs In Alabama

americanpsychoassThe American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest psychological association in the United States. It is also the national accrediting authority for training and education in psychology. It accredits doctoral graduate programs, intern programs and postdoctoral residency programs. Three universities in Alabama are accredited by the APA. Additionally, three facilities offer internship programs that are accredited by the APA.

1. Auburn University

uau

Auburn University was established in 1856 and today, is one of the largest universities in the South, with roughly 20,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students. Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree that’s accredited by the APA can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology or a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology.  This program follows a scientist-practitioner model that allows students to explore the science of counseling and gain experience as a practitioner who is equipped to meet an individual’s mental health needs. Although the program doesn’t have any formal specializations, students can informally pursue a track that emphasizes the scientist or practitioner aspect of training that appeals to them most.  Students may also participate in the Association of Counseling Psychology Students as well as offerings through the College of Liberal Arts.   Course cover social psychology, cognitive behavior therapy, experimental design in psychology and ethical issues. To complete the degree, students must participate in an internship and pass the general Doctoral Examination, which includes both a written paper and oral defense of their thesis. PhD Candidates must also complete an internship in counseling or clinical psychology.  Although the university doesn’t offer any specialization options, students are able to take additional courses in any area that interests them in order to focus their studies.

For more about Auburn University’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

2. University of Alabama at Birmingham

uab

The University of Alabama at Birmingham began as an extension school. In less than forty years, it’s become an academic medical center and a doctoral research university. The university offers an APA-accredited Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology as well as an accredited internship program available through the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology. Students interested in pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology can select from a specialization in behavioral neuroscience, lifespan development psychology or medical clinical psychology. The medical clinical psychology specialization is approved by the APA. Through the degree program, students have the opportunity to conduct research, teach and provide psychological services. The hospital has a Center for Psychiatric Medicine, where students can acquire real-world experience working with patients and applying their skills as practitioners.  Students must also complete a written paper and oral defense in order to complete the degree process.

For more about the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

3. University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa

unialatalo

The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa is the state’s flagship university. It’s student-centered and emphasizes research. Founded in 1831, it was the first public college in the state. Students who are interested in pursuing APA-accredited psychology programs can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. The program has been accredited since 1959. The clinical psychology degree program prepares graduate for the research and the practitioner aspects of clinical psychology. Students can select from four specializations: psychology and law, clinical child, clinical health and clinical geropsychology. Through the course of their studies, learners have the opportunity to participate in the university’s psychology clinic and community training facilities. Together, these allow students to meet the required hours of supervised psychology work to become licensed psychologists. Students begin their clinical coursework their first year and complete research and practicums in subsequent years to attain their goal of completing their PhD.

For more about the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

4. Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System

defining

Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System also offers an APA-accredited internship. Eleven full-time psychologists are accepted into the internship program every year. Any individuals who’ve completed an APA-accredited doctoral degree program are eligible. Students complete pre-doctoral training that allows them to acquire experience in several specialized settings. Psychology rotations are available in post traumatic stress disorder, primary care, neuropsychological testing, sexual trauma therapy, outpatient mental health clinic, rehabilitation psychology and Veteran’s industries. The Psychology Service also provides practicum training to students at Auburn University who are earning their doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

For more about Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

5. Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

deptofvets
The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center offers an internship program that’s accredited by the APA. Located only a short distance from the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, it has a has a Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program that allows veterans to receive rehabilitation and treatment. The center is also affiliated with the University of Alabama Birmingham, allowing students from both universities are able to complete the required internships.

For more about Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

Accreditation List

accreditatioAccreditation is the process that a university, school or business goes through to verify competency, credibility and standing in their field of expertise or profession.
Within an academic setting, accreditation means that the future graduates will have met the educational requirements for their field or profession. Both beyond and within an academic setting, accreditation instills comfort and confidence in the consumer, as the accrediting body will help hold the accredited businesses accountable for their actions, or lack of action. It follows that students studying at accredited universities gain confidence in the quality of their education. It also follows that should students need to transfer educational institutions, most of their credits will transfer and they will be properly prepared for the transfer educationally.

More often than not, an educational institution is required to achieve accreditation in order for its students to qualify for federal financial and sometimes state aid. The overarching accrediting body for schools is either the US Department of Education for public institutions, or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for private institutions. Additional accreditation programs, agencies, and organizations exist for individual programs which ensure students get the best education for their field. To help you understand more about accredited programs and to familiarize yourself with the different accrediting organizations for most major academic programs, check out our Accreditation List:

APA Accreditation

The American Psychological Association accredits doctoral programs in clinical, counseling and school psychology. The APA can also accredit internship programs at the doctoral level in professional psychology, as well as postdoctoral residency programs that are in traditional and specialty areas of psychology. The APA does not accredit specific institutions overall, or bachelor and master level programs.

AACSB Accreditation

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits programs at the bachelor, master’s or doctorate level in business or accounting. The AACSB is the longest standing, most well recognized business accreditation worldwide. Currently, among the more than 13,000 business programs worldwide, less than 5% have earned the AACSB accreditation.

ABET Acceditation

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredits universities and institutions that have programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. ABET can accredit a program or an entire institution. Within the ABET there are four divisions that accredit individual programs. The Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) accredits applied science programs at the associate, bachelor or masters level. The Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) evaluates and accredits programs at the bachelor level. The Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) accredits bachelor and masters level engineering programs and the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) evaluates and accredits associate and bachelor level programs.

ACICS Accreditation

The Accrediting Counsel for Independent Colleges and Schools accredits independent, non-public career schools and colleges in the US and throughout the world. The ACICS accredits schools that offer certificate programs, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The ACICS has strict guidelines regarding enrollment, state certifications and number of graduates that each institution must meet in order to achieve accreditation standards.

NCA Accreditation

The North Central Association accredits post-secondary schools that provide quality education to their students. They accredit schools that are always looking to improve in areas of technology, content and process of education. There are three regional sub divisions of NCA and NCA accredits schools worldwide through their AdvancED program. NCA also has a division that accredits k-12 schools.

WASC Accreditation

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits public, private, religious and independent schools as well as K-12 and adult schools that are non-degree granting schools. WASC accreditation promotes continued improvement in the education process and works with 16 other organizations in the accreditation process.

Better Business Bureau Accreditation

A Better Business Bureau Accreditation means that a business has sound advertising practices, and selling policies and customer service that meets high standards and evoke trust and confidence in the business. Among the eight Standards of Trust are the following guidelines for accreditation: build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safeguard privacy and embody integrity.

CCNE Accreditation

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits bachelors, masters and doctorate level nursing programs. The CCNE is a national accreditation agency, recognized by the US Department of Education. The CCNE accredits institutions that foster an environment that encourages continual self assessment and promotes overall program growth.

CSWE Accredited

The Council on Social Work Education accredits works to identify standards for accreditation of competent social work programs in the university setting. The CSWE works closely with the Office of Social Work Accreditation (OSWA), and the process involves on site visits and self studies.

Accredited Chiropractic Schools

Chiropractic schools receive accreditation from the CCE, Council on Chiropractic Education. The CCE is able to accredit Doctor of Chiropractic programs that are within a larger school or university setting, or will accredit schools that are just Chiropractic schools. There are currently 15 accredited chiropractic schools in 18 locations in the US.

ACE Accreditation

The American Council on Educationis the most influential and well known higher education association in the United States. The ACE represents their members, which can be colleges and universities with two or four year degree programs, as well as graduate level programs. The ACE advocates for their members to congress and the supreme court. The deal with issues such as student financial aid, research funding and tax proposals.

NLN Accredited Schools

The National League for Nursing’s mission is to “promote excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse workforce to advance the nation’s health.” The NLN offers the CNE, or Certified Nurse Educators exam that individual nurses in education can take to earn their CNE certification.

CARF Accreditation

The Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is a non profit dedicated to the health and human services profession. CARF accredits all kinds of rehabilitation facilities, from substance abuse to home and community services and retirement living. A CARF accreditation means that an organization is committed to improving services, encourages client feedback and serves the community.

AIUM Accreditation

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine accredits practices through a voluntary peer review process. The accreditation process allows providers to assess their own strengths and weaknesses and make voluntary changes to improve their practices. The areas of competency demonstrated by the AIUM accredited practices are personnel education, training and experience, record keeping, policies and procedures regarding patient safeguards, personnel and equipment, instrumentation, quality assurance and case studies.

LEED Accreditation

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation means that the specific building or project that earned the certification has met rigorous environmental and sustainability standards. LEED certified projects have earned points for their projects regarding sustainable site practices, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere credits that audit the type of energy and whether is it renewable or low impact, materials and resources being sustainable or renewable, and indoor environmental, which assesses air quality and access to natural light and views.

CAHIIM Accredited Programs

The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education’s mission is to set accreditation standards for health information and management educational programs. The CAHIIM accredits associate and bachelor programs at universities throughout the US.

SACS Accreditation

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools works with universities in the Southern US by promoting educational growth and improvement in their accredited institutions. The states served by the SACS are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina as well as Latin America. Colleges that offer Associates, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees are all eligible for accreditation through the SACS.

NAEYC Accreditation

The National Association for the Education of Young Children focuses on raising the quality of education for children ages birth to eight years of age. The accreditation process recognizes excellent early education programs. NAEYC partners with ECADA, the Early Childhood Associate Degree Accreditation and NCATE, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education to accredit associates and bachelor and graduate programs that train early childhood educators.

DETC Accreditation

The Distance Education and Training Council sets standards for distance learning and correspondence courses. Any institution that has a distance learning option can apply, including high schools, colleges and vocational training institutions. The DETC’s main values are volunteerism, self regulation, institutional self improvement, respect for the uniqueness of institutions, excellence in student services, fairness and transparency in decision making, and responsiveness to the dynamic, global distance education community.

WASC Accreditation

The Association for Biblical Higher Education is the governing body for Bible based higher education. The ABHE is recognized by CHEA as a national accrediting body for all post secondary degrees, including graduate degree programs. The goal of all institutions accredited by ABHE is to prepare students for Christian ministry through Biblical, church vocational and general studies.

Accredited Medical Schools

The Association of American Medical Colleges, AAMC, is responsible for the accreditation of medical schools in the US and Canada. The AAMC represents all 141 accredited medical schools in the US and the 17 that are in Canada in addition to 400 teaching hospitals and health systems. The AAMC also oversees 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. The AAMC does not rank medical schools.

Another accrediting body is the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Medical students who graduate from a LCME school are able to apply for residency at an ACGME (Accreditation Council Graduate Medical Studies) for residency program and apply to take the US Medical Licensing Exam (USMLC).

Accredited Paralegal Programs

Paralegal programs are accredited through the ABA, the American Bar Association. The ABA sets the standard for required education and ABA accredited schools use the most up to date and relevant curriculum.

The National Association of Legal Assistants does not offer accreditation, but does offer a certification for legal assistants or paralegals, which is a voluntary process.

Accredited Pharmacy Schools

The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is the national accreditation board for all graduate level pharmacy programs. ACPE also is responsible for many continuing education opportunities for pharmacists and assistants. ACPE works closely with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The NABP is a professional organization that works with the state boards of pharmacy to ensure quality standards and protect public health. The NABP accomplishes their task primarily through competence assessment programs, licensure transfers and various accreditation programs that are available to individual pharmacists.

Nursing School Accreditation

Nursing schools in the US are accredited through either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN); or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), as described above. ACEN accredits nursing programs that offer postsecondary degrees or higher, and offer a certificate, diploma or advanced degree.

Accredited Business Schools

Business schools are most likely to be accredited through the AACSB, as described above. Currently nearly 700 institutions worldwide have achieved this accreditation. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) is another accreditation that a business school may obtain. ACBSP accredits accounting, business, and business related programs at an associate, bachelors, masters or doctorate degree level worldwide.

Middle States Accreditation

The Middle States Accreditation accredits individual schools, school districts, and colleges across the world. Accreditation is granted through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and the accreditation is based upon peer review that evaluates school effectiveness and improvement.

Accredited Nutrition Programs

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics which was previously known as the Commission on Accreditation Dietetics Education, is responsible for accrediting education programs that graduate students who desire a profession as a registered dietician (RD), or registered dietetics technicians (DTR). The ACEND assures that the education programs are continually improving and meeting the health needs of the public.

Another accrediting board in the nutrition field is the ACBN American Clinical Board of Nutrition is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA offers the status of Diplomate to all professionals in the healthcare field that is beyond the doctorate level both in the United States and Internationally

The Top 25 Accredited Free Classes Available Online

tryfreeTaking classes online has become the new normal. Even the top schools in the nation take advantage of the low overhead and broad reach of using the internet to connect with students. For many, online learning is an ideal situation. However, the cost can still be prohibitive to get the accredited classes that add to knowledge and strengthen one’s own portfolio. Luckily, there are a number of public, private, and educational entities that offer free classes to those who are willing to put forth the time and effort.

So, whether you’re just looking to expand your knowledge base, trying to get one step ahead, or advance your career, the following Top 25 Accredited Free Classes Available Online will help you meet your goal.

1. The University of Cincinnati’s Innovation and Design Thinking

uc

This free class teaches students to use creative thinking skills in order to help expand their minds as well as their business ventures. The accredited course can be taken by anyone. It can also be applied to an MBA or Masters of Engineering degree offered at the university.

For more about The University of Cincinnati’s Innovation and Design Thinking free online course, go
here.

2. The University of Washington’s HTML Basics

uniwash

Self-paced study is available at the University of Washington. HTML Basics can help in nearly any career field. However, this accredited university supplies a diverse number of courses, including Shakespeare’s Comedies and History of Jazz.

For more about The University of Washington’s HTML Basics free online course, go here.

3. Notre Dame’s Elements of Calculus I

notre

An excellent class for students needing a bit of help in their calculus endeavors, Notre Dame offers this and many other classes for free. Elements of Calculus is ideal for high school students and new college students who want to further themselves at their own pace before taking a more intensive Calculus course.

For more about Notre Dame’s Elements of Calculus I free online course, go here.

4. The University of Texas at Arlington’s Enhancing Patient Safety Through Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

uniarlington
Registered nurses who wish to further their careers can take an RN to BSN path in order to achieve a Bachelor’s degree. This course through University of Texas, Arlington gives RNs a taste of what the online program feels like without having to make a monetary commitment.

For more about The University of Texas at Arlington’s Enhancing Patient Safety Through Interprofessional Collaborative Practice free online course, go here.

5. UMASS Boston’s Preschool Learning Standards and Guidelines

umassbos

Get a jump start on a career as an early childhood educator. The completion of this class can help anyone from nannies, daycare providers, or even parents who simply want to learn more about their children. UMass Boston’s OpenCourseWare provides this and many more classes to anyone who wishes to learn.

For more about UMASS Boston’s Preschool Learning Standards and Guidelines free online course, go here.

6. Capilano University’s Philosophy 101: Ethics

capilano

A basic course for undergrads, the Ethics class is a great refresher for past students as well as a perfect preview for entering freshmen. Capilano provides learners with syllabi, a schedule for learning, guides to finding lectures online, and a list of required reading.

For more about Capilano University’s Philosophy 101: Ethics free online course, go here.

7. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Life Course Perspectives on Health

johnhops

This class for that is intended for healthcare providers offers important lessons for anyone who wants to understand more about the human body. It also helps those who wish to stay abreast of the social issues surrounding healthcare.

For more about John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Life Course Perspectives on Health free online course, go here.

8. Dixie State College of Utah’s Professional Portfolio Development Seminar

singingdix

This simple class aids career-minded individuals in putting together portfolios that enhance their future goals. The class provides the knowledge necessary on how to create a stunning portfolio and why it is important.

For more about Dixie State College of Utah’s Professional Portfolio Development Seminar free online course, go here.

9. New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Proposal Writing

njit

Writing a powerful proposal is a skill that few business people can carry out with success. Learning proposal writing from the New Jersey Institute of Technology is one of the best ways to add this knowledge to a repertoire.

For more about New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Proposal Writing free online course, go here here.

10. Tufts University’s Intellectual Development

tufts

Learn how to think intellectually, develop theories, and understand mental processes. Tufts University provides other courses that vary from Tropical Ecology and Conservation to Producing Films for Social Change. Each course includes a syllabus, calendar, special projects, and links to seminar notes.

For more about Tufts University’s Intellectual Development free online course, go here.

11. The University of Nottingham’s Hitler and the Third Reich

uninotti

The University of Nottingham is a UK-based school that is repeatedly ranked among one of the top universities in the world. The school offers a number of online courses for free, including Stage 1 Mandarin, Living in an Era of Global Terror, and King Lear to In the Loop: Fiction and British Politics

For more about the University of Nottingham’s Hitler and the Third Reich free online course, go here.

12. The University of Cape Town’s Raw Life, New Hope: Decency, Housing, and Everyday Life in a Postapartheid Coommunity

unicapetown

Knowledge gained from a foreign social setting is invaluable. The thoughts and perspectives that come from taking courses from a university outside of one’s home country can expand the mind in new and exciting ways. Because of this, students should consider taking a free course from University of Cape Town. Learn about problems that face other parts of the world from a location that feels those issues the most.

For more about the University of Cape Town’s Raw life, New Hope: Decency, Housing, and Everyday Life in a Postapartheid Community free online course, go here.

13. The University of Michigan’s Game Theory

michigan

The University of Michigan considers Game Theory to be a prerequisite to a number of courses. This is due to the fact that the class teaches vital critical thinking and problem solving skills. The free class includes a syllabus and a schedule. All materials are available for free online download as well.

For more about the University of Michigan’s Game Theory free online course, go here.

14. The University of Ulster’s Psychology (Health)

uniulster

Study online through the University of Ulster to learn more about health psychology and how it impacts the ever-changing world of medicine. Though credit is not earned when students audit this course, the knowledge gained is still important to many career fields.

For more about the University of Ulster’s Psychology (Health) free online course, go here.

15. Broward College’s College Readiness Course

broward

Students who are unsure if they are ready to start a college career can take this free college readiness course from Broward College. Registration is available through the last week of the course, which gives students plenty of time to decide if college is for them.

For more about Broward College’s College Readiness free online course, go here

16. Coursera’s 21st Century American Foreign Policy

coursera
Foreign policy has never been more important than it is today. Learn about American foreign policy, why these choices have been made, and how the country’s foreign policy will shape the future. Duke uses Coursera for its free online classes. Students receive a certificates of accomplishment upon successful completion of each course.

For more about Coursera’s 21st Century American Foreign Policy free online course, go here.

17. Coursera’s Introduction to International Criminal Law

coursera
The free, eight week session covers international law and policy. This course is led by instructor Michael Scharf of Case Western Reserve University. It focuses specifically on piracy, war crimes, and terror. Students can register in the fall or spring for the course. If they miss the registration deadline, they can also add the course to a watchlist so they may be notified when it is open in the future.

For more about Coursera’s Introduction to International Criminal Law free online course, go here.

18. Coursera’s Galaxies and Cosmology

coursera
Looking for some fun? Caltech’s S. George Djorgovski takes the wonders of space and makes them a reality for those students who sign up for this nine week course. The class is extensive and will require a time commitment of six to nine hours per week.

For more about Coursera’s Galaxies and Cosmology free online course, go here.

19. Coursera’s Archaeology’s Dirty Little Secret

coursera
This class is perfect for those interested in pursuing archaeology either as an undergrad or as a change in career. All materials are offered online for no charge, including readings. Offered by Brown University’s Sue Alcock, Coursera also offers courses like the Fiction of Relationship and Exploring Engineering for free.

For more about Coursera’s Archaeology’s Dirty Little Secret free online course, go here.

20. Harvard University’s Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays

harvard
Study Shakespeare’s last works with Harvard’s online videos. Though no coursework is included, the videos are comprehensive lectures detailing the Bard’s greatest plays. These lectures are made available to the public free of charge. A student with little interest in Shakespeare can still take advantage of Harvard lecture videos. Lectures from classes like Intensive Introduction to Computer Science, China: Traditions and Transformations, and Abstract Algebra are all available for free.

For more about Harvard University’s Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays free online course, go here.

21. Coursera’s Law and the Entrepreneur

coursera
Individuals who wish to enter the business world must first consider any legal issues that may help or hinder them. This short, six week course has a comprehensive syllabus led by Northwestern’s Esther Barron covers everything from resigning from a full-time job to copyright infringement to the laws of hiring employees. Free reading is available online, though it is recommended that students buy the full version of the textbook for an even more thorough understanding of the law.

For more about Coursera’s Law and the Entrepreneur free online course, go here.

22. Carnegie Mellon University’s Elementary French I

carnegie
The accredited classes available through Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative cannot be applied to a future degree. However, these courses can aid many with furthering their own knowledge and achieving career goals. Other courses include Anatomy and Statistical Reasoning.

For more about Carnegie Mellon University’s Elementary French I free online course, go here.

23. Stanford University The Finance of Retirement and Pensions

stanfordunni
Who doesn’t need to know more about retirement? In this course, students learn everything they need to know about saving for their golden years. The class covers a variety of financial strategies as well as government programs aimed at helping people as they age. Courses operate on a week-by-week schedule, meaning that those who enroll once the class is in session may be left behind. Likewise, many classes require team projects, which allow students to work together with others who hope to achieve an understanding of this information online for free.

For more about Stanford University’s The Finance of Retirement and Pensions free online course, go here.

24. Yale University’s The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change

yaleun

This course is just one of many available online for free from Yale University. Those who wish to know what it is like to study at an Ivy League university can do so with Open Yale. Though most Ivy League schools have courses available online, none are as exhaustive and comprehensive as those offered through Yale. Choose from other courses like Introduction to Ancient Greek History, Global Problems of Population Growth, and Frontiers of Biomedical Engineering.

For more about Yale University’s The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change free online course, go here.

25. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Biochemical Engineering

massintech

Want to try out a course from one of the most prestigious universities in the country? MIT makes complete syllabi, readings, and downloadable course materials available online for anyone who wants to take part in this new form of learning. Like many of the free courses listed, a degree won’t be granted from MIT when the course is complete. However, thorough knowledge of the subject will be handily attained.

For more about Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Biochemical Engineering free online course, go here.

Online Graduates vs. Traditional Graduates: Do Employers Really See Them Equally?

whichisbetter
In the past decade, online education has become common place in higher education. More and more students are flocking to online education because of the flexibility that most online programs provide. And while online degrees and certifications have become more accepted in general by society, there is still a question as to whether employers equate online degrees with degrees from traditional, brick and mortar institutions.

Online programs can provide an excellent return on investment if a student chooses wisely. While employers view online graduates favorably, students should recognize that this favorable view is subject to the program being accredited and associated with a traditional institution. Students should be prepared to do their research before selecting an online program.

Employer Perception

According to a 2010 study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than half of the employers responding indicated that they did not care whether a graduate’s degree came from a traditional, brick and mortar institution or an online program. The study revealed that employers were more concerned with the quality of the education and the reputation of the degree conferring institution. Employers are examining the institution that graduates are coming from. If an online institution is considered on par with the educational quality of a traditional institution, then employers deem it irrelevant whether a graduate earned his or her degree online or in a traditional setting.

The study did uncover two concerns of employers. One concern is that there seems to be a rush towards going online. Students need to remember that faculty is the most valuable asset of an institution. Students need to research the quality of the online faculty and their reputation in their field of study.

The second concern is that employers do have a preference towards online programs attached to a physical campus. The SHRM study found that only 42 percent of the employers smiled favorably on online degrees conferred by institutions strictly online; no physical campus. By contrast, 91 percent of the employers were favorable towards online degrees from traditional institutions.

Favorable Shift Towards Online Programs

Another piece information the 2010 SHRM study revealed was the shift in attitude towards online degrees. 87 percent of the employers surveyed concurred that in the past 5 years the view towards online degrees has become more favorable. Further, 79 percent of the employers have hired at least one online graduate.

Part of the shift is bring attributed to the increase in highly regarded traditional institutions, such as Ivy League schools, offering online programs. At first faculty members were leery of their respective schools adding online curriculums. However once implemented, they discovered that online programs allowed them to spend more time with students through online forums.

Importance of Accreditation

Accredited institutions have met all the necessary requirements that attest to their academic excellence. Colleges and universities are judged on their faculty, curriculum, and facilities. Accreditation determines whether an institution is credible or deemed a reputable school. When students are researching and selecting online programs, they must choose an accredited institution if they want future employers to view their degree as acceptable.

Desirable Characteristics of Online Graduates

Students who obtain their degrees online are pretty much the same as traditional degree students. Just like their traditional degree counterparts, online students need to attend lectures, complete homework, papers and other assignments, and participate in class discussions. However, there is one remarkable difference between the two types of students. And it is this difference that draws employers to online students.

Online students face the challenge of lack of accountability when it comes to showing up to their classes. This challenge threatens an online student’s ability to complete their program. Yet, it is this exact challenge that draws employers. Online graduates are viewed as overcoming this challenge and therefore, are seen as possessing amazing time management skills, initiative, motivation, and a high level of self-discipline.

Even further, employers view online graduates as being very knowledgeable and comfortable with technology. A trait that is sought by almost every industry these days. Employers also perceive online graduates as being self-starters and better at prioritizing. In addition, the graduates are also seen as thinking outside of the box when problem solving.

Top 15 Accredited Online PhD Programs

accredited-online-phdNot all online degree programs are created equal. While online graduate degree hopefuls can consider factors such as a school’s reputation, accreditation and reviews while determining the school’s level of academic quality, it can be difficult for students to be sure that they will receive a quality online degree.

Luckily, some degree programs make the selection easy. The Top 15 Accredited Online PhD Programs on the following list give students access to an exceptionally high academic programs in terms of the information that students need to know and the ways they must demonstrate and apply the knowledge they have learned in their courses. These degree programs impart the knowledge and skills students need to succeed and thrive in a fast-paced and ever-changing work force. They are also quite affordable, and some have even won awards for affordability.

Students can feel confident getting any of the degrees on this list because they are all taught by faculty who are experts in their field. The faculty who teach these programs are often the same faculty who teach traditional classes at the same universities so they know how to teach students the information they will need to be experts in their fields. These degrees also come from schools with excellent reputations and schools that have won numerous achievements and awards.

Here’s the Top 15 Accredited Online PhD Programs:

1. Mississippi State University

missipp

Mississippi State University was originally created in 1878 as the Land-Grant College The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. Then and now, the university is committed to three purposes: learning, research and service. Today, the Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering encourages students to learn, research and serve as they complete their online doctoral degree. This program is designed to allow students to complete their degrees while maintaining work and family commitments. Mississippi State University has received regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The estimated tuition for the program is $21,480 per year.

For more about Mississippi State University’s Online Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering program, go here .

2. Boston University

bostonunilogo
Boston University has undergone a great amount of change and growth since it was first established as Newbury Biblical Institute in 1839. The university is still changing and evolving today. For nine years, Boston University’s Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree has offered a way for physical therapists to grow in their knowledge and abilities in the field. However, the degree will be discontinued after students entering the program in summer 2013 have finished their degrees. Boston University has received regional accreditation from and is a proud member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The estimated tuition for the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree was $29,310 per year.

For more about Boston University’s Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, go here.

3.University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

xhRRnoof

In 1886, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was originally founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church as the private school Chattanooga University. Many things have changed since then. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is now a state school and has offers at the graduate level though it phased the direction of its Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree to licensed physical therapists. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has received regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The estimated tuition cost of the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree was $32,600 per year.

For more about the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Online Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, go here .

4. Colorado State University

colostate

Founded in 1870, Colorado State University is now one of the nation’s leading research universities. Online graduate students seeking to obtain a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systems Engineering degree have the choice between a 72-credit program option and a 42-credit program option, depending on how much coursework they have previously completely. Students are expected to work with an advisor of their choosing to select their own classes to complete their degrees. Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated tuition for the Doctorate of Philosophy in Systems Engineering degree is $40,194 per year.

For more about Colorado State University’s Doctorate of Philosophy in Systems Engineering, go here .

5. East Tennessee State University

etsu
Founded in 1911 as East Tennessee Normal School, East Tennessee State University is a university where people come first, relationships are built, diversity is respected and excellence is achieved. This is still true today in the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degrees. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree focuses on clinical practice that creates health care leaders who use their knowledge to improve patient outcomes, while the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree focuses more on the research aspect of the nursing field, in order to improve health care and health care delivery systems. East Tennessee State University has received regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated cost of tuition is $27,440 per year.

For more about East Tennessee State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing programs, go here .

6. Ball State University

ballstate
Indiana’s Ball State University is named for one of its founders, Frank C. Ball. The school was originally designed to help boost city development. Today, Ball State University’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree prepares nursing students with the knowledge and skills they need to hold leadership positions in their field. The program does require students to visit campus one weekend a year. Ball State is currently under review for accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated cost of tuition is $25,168 per year.

For more about Ball State University’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice program, go here .

7. Grand Canyon University

grandcay

A private Christian University, Grand Canyon has been helping students find their purpose and prepare for their careers for over 60 years. One way the university is doing this is through its online Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree. This degree is offered in several concentrations including emphases on behavioral health, higher education leadership, K-12 leadership, Organizational Development and Special Education. At Grand Canyon University, students take only one class at a time so they can truly focus on that one class before moving on. Grand Canyon University has received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated tuition for the program is $37,500 per year.

For more about Grand Canyon University’s Online Doctor of Education program, go here.

8. Boise State University

boisestate
Boise State University, Idaho’s largest university, was founded in 1932. The school has come a long way since then, however, and it is now on the forefront of technology with its online Doctor of Education in Educational Technology degree. This degree, which has no on-campus requirements, is for people who are passionate about applying research to teaching and who are ready to lead and innovate within the education field. Boise State University has received regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and Boise State’s education program has received professional accreditation from The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education as well. The estimated tuition cost of the Doctor of Education in Educational Technology program is $31,416 per year.

For more about Boise State University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Technology program, go here .

9. Dakota State University

sdsu
South Dakota’s Dakota State University was founded in 1881 as the first institute to educate teachers in the Dakota Territory. While the school has traditionally been associated with teacher education, it is so much more. The university’s top-rated Doctor of Science in Information Systems degree prepares students for research and teaching careers as well as corporate employment. The program has a strong focus on scholarship and multi-disciplinary research projects that effectively prepare students for their chosen careers. Dakota State University has received regional accreditation from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated tuition cost for this program is $22,448 per year.

For more about Dakota State University’s Online Doctor of Science in Information Systems program, go here .

10. Utica College

uticacollege
Utica College was founded by Syracuse University in 1946. Today, its Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy is one of the top in the nation. The program is designed to allow students to meet the demands of home and work while still successfully completing a rigorous online doctoral degree. Once campus residency is required so students can get the hands on experience they need to learn and excel as autonomous practitioners. Utica College has received its accreditation from and is a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The estimated cost of tuition for this program is $19,820 per year.

For more about Utica College’s Online Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, go here .

11. University of West Georgia

uwestgeo

From the university’s humble beginnings as an agricultural and mechanical school designed to meet the need for better education programs for rural youth until now, the University of West Georgia has always been dedicated to the success of its students. Today, the university offers an online Doctor of Education in School Improvement degree. This online program, which can be completed in only three years, does require students to make two campus visits. The University of West Georgia has received regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and it has been named one of the Best Southeastern Colleges and one of America’s Best Value Colleges by The Princeton Review. The estimated cost of tuition for this program is $19,020 per year.

For more about the University of West Georgia’s Online Doctor of Education in School Improvement program, go here.

12. Des Moines University

desmoines

Iowa’s Des Moines University was founded in 1898 as a place to develop professionals dedicated to promoting health, discovering knowledge and serving the community. Today, the school allows physical therapists to advance their careers through the school’s Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program. This degree is one of the few in the nation that allows physical therapists to complete their doctoral degree completely online. Des Moines University has received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated cost for the Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is $12,768 per year.

For more about Des Moines University’s Online Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, go here.

13. Regis University of Colorado

regis
Regis University of Colorado was founded in 1877 by exiled Jesuit priests inspired by the vision of St. Ignatius Loyola. Today, the school offers two subspecialties of their online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree: Advanced Leadership in Health Care Specialization and Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Specialization. The program’s online classes are only eight weeks long, and students are not required to visit campus, though the rigors of the program may require students to temporarily quit full-time employment. Regis University has received its accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission, and the school is a member of the North Central Association. The Loretto Heights School of Nursing has received additional accreditation from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The estimated cost of tuition for the program is $24,645 per year.

For more about Regis University of Colorado’s Online Doctor of Nursing Practice program, go here.

14. Valdosta State University

valdosta

Georgia’s Valdosta State University prides itself on being a tight-knit and supportive learning community. The university’s online practitioner-oriented Doctor of Public Administration degree is designed to help students develop the leadership, communication, management and problem solving skills they need to become professionals in their field.  Valdosta State University has received regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The estimated cost for a Doctor of Public Administration degree is $16,514 per year.

For more about Valdosta State University’s Online Doctor of Public Administration program, go here.

15. Kaplan University

kaplanunilogo
Kaplan University was founded in 1938 by Stanley H. Kaplan as a way to offer higher education to immigrant families with few opportunities. Today, the Executive Juris Doctor program offers opportunities for individuals whose careers would benefit from legal knowledge but who do not need to become members of the Bar. The three-year, part-time program offers students a great amount of flexibility in course selection. Kaplan University has received its accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission and is proud to be a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The estimated tuition for the Executive Juris Doctor program is $29,952 per year.

For more about Kaplan University’s Executive Juris Doctor program, go here .

10 Real-Life Nutty Professors

lead (1)

Image Source

Just like the classes they teach, college professors come in many different varieties. There are the sober, stern individuals who take their subjects exceedingly seriously and insist that you do too – and we don’t envy you if you’re caught talking in their lectures. There are also the self-styled “hip” professors who see themselves as being as much friends as teachers and who aren’t afraid of dropping TV references and slang into their presentations, with sometimes embarrassing results. Some, however, are in a league of their own when it comes to standing out from the crowd, whether it’s through their weird research, odd stunts or wacky inventions. And we think they’re pretty awesome. Read on for ten cool professors who’ve done zany things.

10. Professor Joseph Wang’s Intelligent Underwear

10. Professor Joseph Wang’s intelligent underwear

Image Source

Before the University of California San Diego’s Joseph Wang unveiled his unusual creation in 2010, possibly the only sticky situation that your underwear could have saved you from would have been unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions on gusty days. Now, however, they could potentially save your life. The nano-engineering professor has come up with a pair of underpants that are smarter than most, thanks to an intelligent biosensor found on their waistband. This sensor, commissioned by the military, can measure a person’s vitals, including heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels, and uses this to identify whether the individual concerned needs urgent medical treatment. Eventually, Wang and his colleagues at UC San Diego and New York’s Clarkson University hope to be able to engineer a way of delivering pain-relieving drugs through the briefs. Perhaps, as a result, the U.S. Army will never go “commando” again.

9. Dr. Richard Wiseman’s LaughLab

9. Dr Richard Wiseman’s LaughLab

Image Source

Richard Wiseman hasn’t always been a scholar – in fact, before embarking upon academic life and ultimately becoming a psychology professor at the U.K.’s University of Hertfordshire, he was a professional magician and one of the U.K. Magic Circle’s youngest inductees. A background in entertaining the masses could perhaps have come in handy, then, when Wiseman started on his quest to make people chuckle through LaughLab. The project, carried out from 2001 to 2002, attempted to discover the funniest joke in the world, as measured through the 1.5 million ratings of more than 40,000 jokes submitted to Wiseman from participants worldwide. There was in fact a serious scientific endeavor behind the amusing research, however, as it tracked how individuals’ place of origin can affect their sense of humor. Wiseman has stated in his final report on the project, “Humor is vital to communication and the more we understand about how people’s culture and background affect their sense of humor, the more we will be able to communicate effectively.”

8. Professor David Edwards’ Inhalable Chocolate

8. Professor David Edwards’ inhalable chocolate

Image Source

One man became the savior of dieting chocoholics everywhere when he came up with his unusual Le Whif product. David Edwards, a biomedical engineering professor from Harvard University, unveiled his unique tubes of inhalable chocolate in 2009. The inventive devices provide a way to get a hit of your favorite food minus the unhelpful extra calories. Their initial testing period saw them become a success, with more than 60,000 units sold in just nine months. A coffee variety was made available, too. Edwards himself has suggested that Le Whif or its counterparts could even replace traditional methods of eating, saying, “The idea here is to move beyond the fork and the knife and think about inhaling food.” We’re looking forward to Professor Edwards’ inhalable take on a pizza or barbecued ribs.

7. Professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck’s Teapot Dribble Testing

7. Professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck’s teapot dribble testing

Image Source

It’s a conundrum that has irritated most tea drinkers at some point. Why can’t a teapot’s contents flow perfectly into a mug rather than trickling down the spout, perhaps collecting in a puddle on our finest china or even staining our clothes an unsightly brown as a result? Fortunately for lovers of the beverage, Belgian math professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck, who works at the U.K.’s University College London, was gripped by this question and set out to find an answer. Vanden-Broeck’s somewhat eccentric findings have revealed that “it is a bit like Russian roulette every time you have a cup of tea,” and his calculations show that many variables – such as the water’s heat and the angle of the pour – factor into whether your pot will dribble or flow neatly. Thanks to the efforts of one cool professor, maybe we can now work out exactly what to do for that perfect cup.

6. Professor Wafaa Bilal’s Head Camera

6. Professor Wafaa Bilal’s head camera

Image Source

We’ve often thought that it would be useful to have eyes in the back of our head, if only to see whether people are making faces behind our back. If something similar happened to New York University professor Wafaa Bilal, though, he could catch the perpetrator red-handed – and with photographic evidence. This is because, in 2010, Bilal took the somewhat risky and utterly bizarre step of having a digital camera embedded in his head, in order to take one shot each minute for art project The 3rd I. Why not just take a camera around with him? Bilal has explained, “I didn’t feel that strapping something around my neck would be the same way I’m committed to the project as mounting it to the top of my head.” Due to health issues, though, the camera eventually had to be removed and secured to Bilal’s neck instead.

5. Sir Andre Geim’s Frog Levitation

5. Sir Andre Geim’s frog levitation

Image Source

Russian-born physicist Sir Andre Geim’s illustrious career was crowned with a Physics Nobel Prize in 2010 for his experiments surrounding the material graphene with research partner Konstantin Novoselov. Just a decade before that, though, the professor – who currently works at the University of Manchester in the U.K. – took home an altogether less serious award in the shape of the Ig Nobel Prize, which celebrates some of the most unique and amusing scientific achievements. Together with Bristol University’s Sir Michael Berry, Geim used what has been described as his “slightly bonkers approach to science” to demonstrate the phenomenon of magnetic levitation with a live frog. This proved that objects other than superconductors can be pushed up into the air employing only magnets and the repelling force of the atoms of which the object is made. Apparently, the amphibian floated “as if it were in a spacecraft,” which is an entertainingly bizarre mental image all by itself.

4. Professor Jeff Wilson’s Dumpster Project

4. Professor Jeff Wilson’s Dumpster Project

Image Source

Huston Tillotson University’s Jeff Wilson has been described as a “zany” professor, and when you look into his new scheme, you’ll probably find it hard to disagree. Wilson, who teaches environmental science at the Austin, Texas-based college, is taking an unusual approach to research by spending one whole year living in a dumpster. That’s right – from fall 2013 he will be leaving behind the creature comforts of the average American home in an effort to show how others can live sustainably without using excess water and electricity or producing a lot of waste. Initially, Wilson will incorporate mod-con elements like air conditioning, a latrine and lights, but he will soon remove these to explore more eco-friendly alternatives, which he hopes will serve as inspiration for the college. Wilson, who now dubs himself “Professor Dumpster,” says he aims to prove that “through less consumption, in this case less than one percent of the average American home, you still can have a happy and fulfilling life.”

3. Professor Kevin Warwick’s Project Cyborg

3. Professor Kevin Warwick’s Project Cyborg

Image Source

Professor Kevin Warwick’s long-running Project Cyborg experiment has opened up some crazy possibilities in cybernetics that could one day see the perfect meshing of man and machine. In 1998, Warwick, who teaches at the U.K.’s University of Reading, took it upon himself to turn into a cyborg. This oddball scheme began with Warwick having an RFID transmitter inserted under his skin, which enabled him to switch on a light by merely clicking his fingers. The totally cool – but undeniably weird – endeavor did produce some pioneering results, though, as it then progressed to Warwick housing an array of internal electrodes within his arm through which he was able to connect his nervous system to the internet. When his wife received a similar device, it even resulted in the first electronic communication performed neurologically between two people.

2. Professor Zhang Lin’s Mountaintop Penthouse

Rocky style villa on the roof of a tower block, Haidian, China - 12 Aug 2013

Image Source

Having your own home on top of a mountain might seem cool, if somewhat perilous, but what are the options if you also want to dwell in one of the world’s most populous cities? One eccentric professor came up with a solution: build your ideal abode on the top of a 26-story skyscraper. Zhang Lin’s quest for the (very) high life has seen him spend six years creating a penthouse that almost looks as though it’s hewn out of a mountain. It is built out of huge quantities of rocks and rubble, while the greenery of its “garden” adds to its overall natural appearance. Of course, though, there’s nothing natural about its presence at the very top of an apartment block, and the somewhat nutty professor’s scheme has been criticized by his neighbors for flooding their homes and creating extra noise and bother. Still, we have to admit, as zany schemes go, it’s certainly one of the boldest.

1. Dr. Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment

1. Dr Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment

Image Source

Years before San Francisco came together for the Summer of Love, those incarcerated in Massachusetts’ Concord State Prison were turning on, tuning in and dropping out courtesy of a professor who was once named “the most dangerous man in America” and who became renowned for his unusual research. From 1959 Dr. Timothy Leary worked at the clinical psychology department at Harvard, and he had his mind expanded by taking psilocybin mushrooms in 1960. These hallucinogens were at the heart of his controversial experiment with inmates at Massachusetts’ Concord State Prison. Between 1961 and 1963, Leary and his researchers conducted research into whether the effects of psilocybin would lower recidivism levels among the prison population. Astonishingly, it seemed to work, as only a quarter of the inmates would go on to re-offend, compared to the projected 64 percent before the experiment took place – although, that said, the study’s results have since been challenged.

Top 15 Accredited Schools Offering Online Masters Degrees

accredited-masters-programsIn pursuit of advanced education, many students elect to embark on master’s degree programs despite the obstacles that often stand in the way.  While many people are able to take four years to focus solely on their undergraduate degrees, by the time they are ready to obtain their master’s degrees, they are often very busy with work and family responsibilities that make getting an advanced education difficult.  Additional factors like time and financial restraints, make not only pursuing a degree difficult but also selecting a program tricky.  Finding a reputable, accredited masters program which maximizes time and money investments without sacrificing academic quality while minimizing risk and expense is a tough job.  Finding one online which often best suits today’s masters degree candidates’ busy lives was more than tough. But someone had to do it.

So, that’s what we did.  We have gathered a list of some of the most innovative, affordable masters degree programs available online and then ensured they were offered from some of the most excellent colleges and universities in the nation. The programs on the following list have received several awards and top honors from multiple reputable sources such as US News & World Report, Forbes and Affordablecollegesonline.org. Their tuition rates are reasonable, and the various degrees they offer are well worth the money students spend on them. Furthermore, these schools maintain a tradition of excellence and expect the same from their students. These colleges are proud of their rich heritages, and they should be. Each University is unique in its particular bragging points, but each University has several.

The Universities on this list have excellent and knowledgeable faculty members who are experts in their career fields and who use their expertise to prepare graduate students for advancement in their current fields, as well as to prepare students to transition into new career fields they may be interested in. The faculty at these schools also caters to a wide variety of careers as the Universities offer several degree programs. The following schools are the best in the nation according to their academic quality, general affordability and excellent reputation. They meet or supersede rigorous academic standards that prepare students to become knowledgeable leaders in their chosen fields. They do not just teach students basic principles that they could learn from reading a textbook; the professors help the students gain valuable knowledge that can only be given by someone with real-world experience.

Here are the Top 15 Accredited Schools Offering Online Masters Degrees:

1. St. John’s University Online

stjohns

St John’s University Online is a private Roman Catholic university with online graduate degree programs including: Master of Arts in Global Development and Social Justice, Master of Arts in Accounting, Master of Science in Management and Risk and Master of Science in School Building Leadership. It’s top ranking Best Online Graduate Education Programs are listed on the U.S. News and World Report as Number 1 in the nation. St. John’s online master’s degree students are required to log on to Black Board every day to participate in discussions with classmates and professors by posting a certain number of responses. St. John’s University is accredited at the regional level by Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education as well as at the state level by the State Education Department of New York. Online graduate tuition costs between $1,100 and $1,325 per semester.

For more about St. John’s University’s online Programs, go here.

2. Penn State Online

pennstate
Penn State became a pioneer in distance learning in 1892 when it began offering one of the first correspondence courses in the nation. Penn State Online still offers academic leadership and excellence today. Its world-class graduate faculty offers a superior academic education to career-focused students from a variety of backgrounds plus each program is designated within the top 50 rankings of the U.S. World & News.  Penn State Online offers a variety of master’s degrees in areas including: adult education, applied statistics, earth sciences, geographic information systems, homeland security, and renewable energy and sustainability systems. Penn State is accredited at the regional level by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and many of Penn State’s individual degree programs have additional accreditations specific to their career fields as well. Tuition is $736 to $1,100 per credit and $7,414 to $13,200 per semester for graduate-level courses.

For more about Pennsylvania State University’s Online Programs, go here.

3. Virginia Tech University Online

vtec
Virginia Tech University Online is unique in that it offers several useful resources to online students including academic success seminars, proctoring services and “Ask a Librarian” live chat services. Virginia Tech Online offers 37 graduate-level degrees in fields such as instructional technology, ocean engineering, agricultural and life sciences, integrated STEM education, computer engineering and aerospace engineering.   It’s graduate programs are highly ranking and consistently list among the U.S. World & News “Best of” Lists. Virginia Tech has received regional accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. At the graduate level, tuition is $621.50 per credit hour for residents of Virginia and $1,230.25 per credit hour for nonresidents.

For more about Virginia Tech University’s Online Programs, go here.

4. University of Southern California Online

usconlog
The University of Southern California began as a secular institution in 1952 before eventually affiliating itself with the Methodist Church. Today, the University of Southern California has the largest number of international students of any university in the United States. The University of Southern California Online offers master’s degrees in geographic information science and technology, business taxation – working professional, communication management, school leadership, gerontology and academic medicine. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and listed by the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Education Programs, Best Graduate Engineering Programs, and Best Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Tuition rates are $43,722 for two semesters of 15 to 18 credits each.

For more about University of Southern California’s Online Programs, go here.

5. Arizona State University Online

asuonlog

Top ranked by US News & World Report, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards and Forbes, Arizona State University Online is an excellent choice for students who want a master’s degree they can be proud of. Arizona State University Online offers unique degrees including: Master of Advanced Study in American Media and Popular Culture, Master of Engineering in Embedded Systems, Master of Science in Clinical Research Management, Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Applied Behavior Analysis and Master of Science in Information Management. Arizona State University is accredited at the regional level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. Arizona State University’s tuition rates are between $482 and $852 per credit hour for graduate degree programs, though this number does not include program fees.

For more about Arizona State University’s Online Programs, go here.

6. Washington State University Online

wsuonlog
Washington State University was founded in 1890 as Washington’s original land-grand university. Their mission was the same then as it is now: to improve peoples’ quality of life. Today, Washington State University Online offers students an exceptional education along with additional perks including an academic advisor, round-the-clock tech support and various off-campus activities where students can connect. The degrees offered at Washington State University Online include: Master’s in Agriculture, Master’s in Special Education, Master’s in Engineering and Technology Management and Master’s in Strategic Communication. Washington State University has received its accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, plus many of its graduate degree programs have achieved their own accreditations as well. Graduation tuition for Washington State University Online is $587 per credit or $5,868 for a full-time semester of 10 to 18 credit hours.

For more about Washington State University’s Online Programs, go here.

7. University of South Carolina Online

uscarlonlog

The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 as an attempt to unite Southern Carolina residents after the American Revolution. Today, the University of South Carolina Online is a great way for students to further their education around their busy schedules. The University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and many of its programs are individually professionally accredited or endorsed as well. Available degrees include: the highly ranked Master of Education Programs (#5 by the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Education List), Master of Health Information Technology, Master of Science in Engineering Management and Master of Public Health. Tuition is $15,110 to $28,940 per year for full-time tuition and $436.50 to $625 per credit hour for part-time tuition.

For more about the University of South Carolina’s Online Programs, go here.

8. University of Michigan at Flint Online

umfonlog

The University of Michigan at Flint seeks to provide “an uncommon education for the common man.” The university offers both fully online degrees and mixed mode degrees, which require campus visits every four to six weeks. Available degrees include: Master of Arts in Education Technology, Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration. The University of Michigan at Flint has received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and many of its individual programs have received their own individual accreditations as well. Graduate tuition is $499 per credit hour for Michigan residents or $748 per credit hour for nonresidents. The full-time tuition rate is $3,992 per semester for Michigan residents or $5,984 per semester for nonresidents. There is also a $43 online course fee per credit hour.

For more about the University of Michigan’s Online Programs, go here.

9. Auburn University Online

auburnuni

Auburn University offers some graduate degrees entirely online as well as some graduate degrees that are achieved through a mix of online and off-line coursework. This allows students to receive some of the benefits of an online education without completely losing touch with on-campus life. Available online degrees offered by Auburn are all listed among the U.S. World and News’ Top 10 Graduate programs.  Programs include: Master of Science/Master of Agriculture in Agronomy & Soils, Master of Business Administration, Master of Early Childhood in Special Education and Master of Materials Engineering. Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Full-time tuition, nine credit hours, is $9,858 for in-state graduate students and $26,382 for out-of-state graduate students.

For more about Auburn University’s Online Programs, go here.

10. Sam Houston State University Online

samhoustonstate

Sam Houston State University has received top rankings from US News & World Report and Affordablecollegesonline.org. It has also been named a military friendly school. The university’s available online degrees include: Master of Arts in Communication Studies, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Master of Science in Family and Consumer Science. Sam Houston State University has received regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, plus its various degree programs have received individual professional accreditations as well. Tuition and fees for a 12 hour graduate semester are $5,048, plus an additional online course fee of $101 per credit hour.

For more about Sam Houston State University’s Online Programs, go here.

11. Robert Morris University Online

rmuonline

Robert Morris University seeks to change students’ lives to they can change others’ lives as well. Robert Morris University Online offers graduate degrees in business administration, engineering management, IT project management, information systems and communications, nonprofit management, nursing and organizational studies. The university’s online classes are unique in that they are all only eight weeks long. Robert Morris University is accredited at the regional level by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and many of the university’s individual programs have additional accreditations as well. Online courses are $680 per credit.

For more about Robert Morris University’s Online Programs, go here.

12. University of Florida Online

unifloronlog
The University of Florida began as a small seminary school in 1853. Today, the University of Florida is Florida’s leading university and one the best online graduate schools in the nation. It is also one of the most academically diverse universities in the United States. The University of Florida offers graduate degrees in agriculture and life sciences, business administration, education, engineering, fine arts, journalism, nursing and veterinary medicine. The University of Florida Online is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Graduate off-campus tuition is $12,640 plus fees.

For more about the University of Florida’s Online Programs, go here.

13. Clarkson College Online

clarkson

Clarkson College is Nebraska’s first health care education institution. It is built on the Episcopal Church, and an impressive 90 percent of its students enroll in at least one online class each semester. Clarkson College Online offers online graduate degrees including Master of Health Care Administration and Master of Science in Nursing with specialty areas in nursing education, nurse anesthesia and family nurse practitioner. Clarkson College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and its degree programs have their own professional accreditations as well. Graduate tuition is $497 per credit hour, plus a $40 online class fee.

For more about Clarkson College’s Online Programs, go here.

14. Ferris State University Online

ferrisstateonline

Ferris State University was founded in 1884 as a way for people to escape jobs as lumberjacks and farm laborers and create more opportunities for themselves. Ferris State University makes transferring from a two-year to a four-year degree easy, and they have the highest transfer rate of any Michigan University to show for it. The university offers students degrees such as Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Nursing with a hands-on and practical approach to learning. Ferris State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and many of its graduate degree programs have individual professional accreditations as well. Tuition is $507 per credit hour for graduate classes.

For more about Ferris State University’s Online Programs, go here.

15. Graceland University Online

gracelandonlinelog

Graceland College is a liberal arts college dedicated to providing for the higher education needs of today’s college student. Graceland University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and the nursing and education programs have received their own additional accreditations well. Graceland College is unique in its financial options for students. Tuition is $450 per semester hour, but the college offers group rates for groups of three students or more. Plus, Graceland offers students interest-free payment plans that allow them to pay their tuition over the course of a few months, instead of owing the entire balance by the first day of classes.

For more about Graceland University’s Online Programs, go here.

What is Online College Accreditation?

accreditationwhatAccreditation is an important topic for prospective college students. Attending a college that is poorly accredited may be a good bargain while you are in school, but upon graduation you will soon discover that a degree from an unaccredited or under accredited school may be a huge disadvantage in your search for a job.

Institutional Accreditation

One way for a college to gain accreditation is institutionally, meaning the entire college has a general accreditation. To gain an institutional accreditation, a college or university needs to demonstrate that they have information resources, such as libraries, available to their student body. They also need to prove to the accrediting body that they have significant student resources, such as enough faculty and staff, and have a track record of graduating students that have success in their field of study.

Program Specific Accreditation

Another way to gain accreditation is for a program to obtain accreditation itself, called programmatic accreditation. With a program specific accreditation, just a certain program will be accredited under the institution. A college may have an institutional accreditation and a program specific accreditation at the same time. Additionally, a college may be institutionally accredited but may not have the most advantageous program accreditation for your specific major, so it is important to research specific accreditation of your program when looking for an online college to attend. It is also possible for a college program to become nationally accredited by an professional group that also has also offers memberships for practicing professionals in that field. This is not always possible, but it is advantageous to you to research if your specific program has any of these affiliations or accreditations. Common programs for accreditation are law, nursing, education and engineering.

Regional Accreditation

The main accrediting body in the US, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has six regional bodies that each accredit the colleges in their geographic location. It is uncommon for online schools to have regional accreditation, but an online institution can gain regional accreditation if that college has a physical location in one of the six regions in addition to their online degree seeking program.

Specific Online College Accreditation

The Distance Education and Training Counsel (DETC) is the sect of CHEA that is responsible for accrediting online universities. The DETC ensures that online and distance programs have content that is at the same level as their brick and mortar counterparts. Due to the rigorous nature of this accreditation, online schools that have this accreditation have a high percentage of graduates.

Accreditation offers many possibilities to you, the prospective student. Federal grants are only available to students at accredited colleges, as are other benefits such as subsidized student loans and GI Bill benefits. In addition to the financial benefits, attending an accredited school makes transfer between universities much quicker and smoother than transferring from a non-accredited institution. In order to demonstrate to future employers and other universities should you pursue additional studies, do your research to ensure that your online college or program is accredited.

The Difference Between Regional and National Accreditation

accreditationA regional accreditation is not the same as a national accreditation for an important reason: the difference is that credits earned at a regionally accredited institution are more widely accepted. Credits earned in college are like money in the bank, and students who make enough regular deposits by taking courses compile sufficient credits to earn a degree. At graduation time, students do the equivalent of cashing them in for a diploma. Online college students need to consider the impact that accreditation has on their degree.

Understanding the Differences

As the name implies, regional accrediting organizations operate in specific areas of the country. They grant accreditation for all of a college’s instructional sites, including online programs and distance learning options. Regional accreditation bodies accredit a diverse range of schools that offer any or all of these degrees:

• Associate
• Baccalaureate
• Masters
• Doctoral

National accreditation organizations usually accredit schools that focus on career or religious education.

Planning Ahead to Transfer Credits

Changes in plans or circumstances often make it impossible for students to graduate from the same school where they started. Transferring earned credits to another institution is easier if they were granted by a regional accreditation organization. Thinking of the credit transfer process in terms of money helps to understand the difference between the negotiability of the two kinds of accreditation. Regionally accredited colleges usually accept credits from other schools that hold similar credentials. Schools that have a national accreditation usually accept credits only from other institutions in their network.

The money illustration is helpful, because some types of currency are not as negotiable as others. In America, the dollar is the standard form of currency for trade, and it is accepted everywhere. To spend Chinese yen or Indian rupees in the United States, a person has to go to stores that accept them. Credits from a regionally accredited institution are acceptable by many more colleges than those from a nationally accredited school. Online students are often dismayed to learn that credits are not transferable and that repeating some courses is necessary when changing schools.

Examining a School’s Accreditation

Qualifying for regional accreditation is a rigorous process that schools work hard to earn. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes seven regional accrediting bodies that uphold the standards of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation:

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Schools in New York, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are accredited by MSCHE.

New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Commission on Institution of Higher Education (NEASC-CHE)
Schools in Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts are accredited by NEASC-CHE.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC)
Schools in Wyoming, Arizona, North Dakota, West Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Michigan and Kansas are accredited by NCA-HLC.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Commission on Colleges
Schools in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi and South Carolina are accredited by SACS.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC-WASC)
Schools in California and Hawaii in addition to those in American Samoa, the Territories of Guam, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia are accredited by ACCJC-WASC.

To avoid disappointment later, students planning to attend an online college need to inquire about its accreditation prior to making a decision about enrollment.