When making decisions about the direction of education you will are to take, or perhaps more importantly your kids will take, several important questions must be addressed: How much will it cost? How many years will it take me? What campus should I (or they) attend? And perhaps, far more importantly, if I do decide on a more inexpensive high school, university, or college will this have a substantial or significant effect on the quality of education I (or they) receive?
The honest truth is that nothing in life is free and that often by deciding to pursue a more affordable education you may be harming you or your children’s chances of being able to compete for higher paying jobs in the future. Indeed, school is really about more than just the actual process of learning. It is also about the certificate at the end of the journey, which represents a real achievement. It represents an individual’s capacity to be a “self-starter”. It’s very unfortunate that many businesses these days are acting in a truly predatory manner have made the decision to offer what they call “courses” which are not accredited, and in fact do not offer any real assurance of increasing an individual’s hirability.
When deciding on a center of education take a moment to meet some of the campus staff, especially those committed to actual teaching. In most schools a person may audit a class, that is, sit in and watch the teaching session. Does the teacher emphasize seemingly arbitrary rote memorization, or instead weave the necessary elements into real, coherent understanding? Are the employees friendly? Do they seem to enjoy their career or is it a drudgery clearly visible by the expression on their faces? A teacher who does not enjoy their career will have no incentive to ensure their students are alert and engaged. Are the facilities well kempt and do the janitors show some level of pride in their work? The cleanliness of the halls shows whether or not the administrators believe it is important to keep a professional image, and attract the best students.
Does the educational center offer important ammenities such as an athletic facility, and a cafeteria with healthy food? Whether attending middle school, high school, college, or grad school these are important factors that need to be looked at. When making a choice of a school you are choosing not only a place to learn but a place where you (or your children) will be substantial portions of the day, and not on an sporadic time table but every single day. Being surrounded by messy halls, having to pack your own lunch or risk a decline in health… all of these things are problems which will distract from the actual process of learning.
One last very important topic worthy of discussing: online courses — are they worth considering? The answer is: it depends. If you make the choice to take internet-offered courses from a legitimately accredited university that offers most of its classes on campus as well then you’ll, obviously, be graduating with the same piece of paper that anyone else has. However, if you make the decision to “attend” a solely net-based university you may be taking a significant risk that future employers will not take your level of education seriously at all. Indeed, the unaccredited for-profit schools are quite abundant on the world wide web.