Associate Degree Online Programs

Associates of Arts & Science degrees by distance learning

Associate degree online programs offered by accredited online colleges are two-year programs designed to offer a curriculum and quality of Graduates of an associate degreeeducation similar to the traditional campus-based program, and on a flexible schedule and learning format.

If you are a new or returning college student, you can obtain an associates degree in both academic and professional subjects.

This will allow you to either pursue a four-year degree at a later date or enter the workforce right away with a set of skills that will set you apart from other individuals.

Why pursue an associate's degree?

Earning your associate's degree is a great stepping stone to a better career. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, individuals with associate degree's can enter some of the fastest growing professions. Earning an associate's degree will also allow you to transfer credits to a 4-year institution should you decide to advance your education to a bachelor's degree.

Who can earn an associate degree online?

Pursuing a distance learning associate degree is ideal for learners who are:

  • Independent and need flexibility without the need for campus commuting.
  • Working professionals with busy work and family schedules interested in enhancing their knowledge by earning a college degree.
  • Traditional learners looking to complete a rigorous educational program by using technology as a learning medium.
  • Motivated individuals desiring to learn at their own pace without the constraint of the traditional classroom.

Types of associate's programs offered through distance education

Just like the programs offered on campus, students opting for the distance learning option can earn an Associate of Arts focused on liberal arts subjects, Associate of Science for a strong mathematics and natural science curriculum or Associates of Applied Science or Arts for students wishing to study career-oriented subjects.

Online associate degrees specializations

Not all associates degrees are suitable for online study, and while others combine a blend of online learning and campus attendance, some disciplines render themselves well for online study and e-learning environment. lists here some common programs and schools that offer these specific degrees:

What should you expect from an online associates education?

Completing online classes requires a lot of discipline, and thus to earn this undergraduate requires strong organizational skills and ability to study and learn in a non-supervised environment. Since there are no class meetings, you won't get the constant reminder when your assignments are due; it will be your responsibility to maintain your calendar up to date and stay on top of readings, exams and other assignments. Some online colleges require new students to have some sort of undergraduate study experience or enough maturity to understand that they are responsible for their own success.

If you want to reduce the amount of time needed to earn your associate's degree, some of the schools offer an accelerated associate's program enabling you to earn your distance learning degree faster, so inquire from the college of your choice if they have such an option. Accelerated options can include testing, crash courses or independent study, amongst others.

Also, if you have earned credits from a different institution, you may be eligible to transfer those credits to your accredited associate degree online college. However, consider that some credits may not be recognized or be eligible for transfer to another college. This applies to both traditional and online colleges and you should always discuss transferring options with a counselor prior to enrolling for your associates degree to be sure you're choosing the best institution for your education.

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for an associate degree online?

To get the ball rolling, you will be expected to fill out an application (either online or paper form) and submit it to the school of your choice. All schools will require an official transcript from high school or the official results of your GED, residency proof etc.

Thus anyone who graduated high school or obtained a GED can apply for an associate's degree program; however, a few schools focusing on "degree completion" programs will require applicants to have already earned 3 to 9 transferable credits for their application to be approved. You should have access a computer meeting the minimum software requirements with Internet access inorder to be able to access classes and learning material online.

Accreditation: why should you choose an accredited school?

The majority of students enrolling in traditional campus schools in the United States usually don't have to worry about accreditation - however with the amount of online-based schools that do not provide a physical campus or aren't associate with a particular State, it is important for online learners to verify accreditation.

The accreditation entails that the school's programs have been evaluated by an authorized government agency in order to confirm the quality of training and education offered meets certain set standards. Also, studying at a regionally or nationally accredited institution will ensure that you are eligible for government financial aid, receive quality education and are able to transfer to 4-year college seamlessly. Employers are also much more confident in hiring graduates from accredited colleges.

Moving on with your associate's degree: what can you do with it?

Earning an associate's degree is the first step to furthering your career and/or education. Once you have earned this 2-year degree, there are various options you can pursue on an academic and professional level.

Many associate's degree graduates will transfer to a 4-year college in order to obtain their bachelor's degree – which can also be completed online if you desire.

On the other hand, there are many career options offered to associate's degree graduates. Studies have been made on well-paying jobs for individuals with a 2-year degree. These jobs include registered nurse, computer technician, fashion designer, dental hygienist and more. In short, earning your associate's degree online can not only save you valuable time, but will allow you to get a stable career and open doors to more learning opportunities.

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