One of the most exciting experiences which countless baby boomers are going through right now is seeing their grandchildren grow up and start thinking about what they want to do with their lives. Talking with them about college and career choices and seeing them achieve success in their education journeys is a proud and heartwarming moment for most grandparents.
If your grandchild has told you that they have decided to attend college virtually, however, you might be wondering if they are making the right choice. Will they make friends? Will the degree be worth the money? Will employers take them seriously? Here are some points to consider which might put your mind at ease when it comes to your grandchildren’s distance learning education.
One of the main concerns that many people have about online degrees is that the students will become isolated and won’t make new friends, which has always been one of the main attractions of going to college. However, just because your grandchild is going to be taking most of their classes virtually doesn’t mean that they won’t have any opportunities for in-person interaction. Many distance learning programs in hands-on subjects and fields, such as these online courses in nursing, include practical modules such as clinical practice, where students will work alongside qualified medical professionals in hospitals, family doctor clinics and other healthcare settings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most if not all college departments switched either partly or fully to teaching their students remotely, for obvious safety reasons. Although the pandemic is hopefully going to come to an end soon, there have been many calls from both students and college staff to keep the hybrid model of teaching and learning going in a post-pandemic world. Therefore, even if your grandchild enrolled on an in-person program, there’s a high chance that a lot of their learning would still be done online.
It’s not just colleges that switched to remote and hybrid models during the pandemic: every company which was able to, did the same. Countless companies, including some of the major employers, have now realized the many benefits which come with remote and hybrid working, and have decided to permanently switch to one of these models regardless of what might happen with the pandemic. It is extremely likely, therefore, that by the time your grandchild graduates from college having completed their degree online will be seen as a perfectly normal experience by their potential employers, who may well have been working remotely themselves for several years.
Lastly, some people worry that degrees which are offered fully online are not ‘real’ degrees. Unfortunately, there are some organizations out there which offer degree courses which are not accredited – which can mean that the course is poor quality or not recognized by employers. An easy way to find out if a certain program is accredited is to search for it in the Council for Higher Education Accreditation database. If the program your grandchild wants to enroll in is accredited, you can put your mind at ease!