What Are Self-Paced Online Degree Programs?

Self-paced online degree programs allow students to set their own academic schedules, while traditional online programs typically follow an academic schedule set by the school. That's why a self-paced program might appeal to working professionals and others who need flexibility when taking classes. Read on to learn about these programs.

Self-Paced Online Degree Programs Overview

Self-paced online degree programs are designed for students who may find full-time, on-campus programs hard to fit into their busy schedules. You can find online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a large number of disciplines. Lately, online degree programs have started being offered from a variety of educational institutions, such as two-year technical and community colleges as well as four-year universities. A few of the basic attributes of self-paced online degree programs include the ability to study at one's own pace and the online delivery method.

Self-Paced Progress

Unlike traditional university programs, self-paced online programs give students the flexibility to make their own schedule with regard to lessons and class assignments. Working professionals can benefit from self-paced programs because the pursuit of an education follows their own time schedule. Students can study in the evenings, on weekends or whenever their schedule permits. Most programs allow students to work on one or more courses simultaneously. While some programs have certain completion time limits, such as 6- or 12-week terms for instance, others may be more flexible.

Online Coursework and Interaction

One of the benefits of a degree program offered online is the ability to complete coursework via the Internet. A personal computer and Internet connection is all that's required to easily access class materials. This includes study guides, exams and supplemental materials. Students can also use their computers to interact with fellow students and faculty via email or online forums. Such Internet communication makes it possible for students to ask questions and engage in a dialogue, just as they would in traditional, on-campus courses. Contemporary online teaching methods include video tutorials, live chats, online quizzes and online classroom discussions.

Other Benefits

Some self-paced online degree programs allow you to pay as you go and only pay for the courses you're currently taking. Since you're typically charged by the course at the time of enrollment, you have greater flexibility in arranging your education in accordance with financial demands. Also, because online degree programs are often extensions of on-campus programs, the same professors who teach on-campus courses often teach the online sessions. And, these courses often include the same texts and learning materials.

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