Online Schools in Florida
According to a study by the Parthenon Group, 40 percent of Florida college students took at least one online course during the 2010-11 academic year. This number far exceeds the nationwide average of 31 percent. With nearly 700 online programs available from 39 Florida colleges and universities, online education is already a significant force in the state. Online colleges provide recent high school graduates, as well as working adults, parents, and other non-traditional students, with more options for attaining postsecondary training. From vocational certification to graduate degrees, students in Florida can now choose from a wide range of either fully online or blended programs.
Online Education Resources for Students in Florida
A growing number of public and private institutions in Florida have begun to feature online learning options. Florida Virtual Campus, a service of the State University System of Florida and Florida College System, is a great resource for prospective online students in the state. Along with admissions information and electronic library services, the site features a searchable catalog of online courses and degrees available from Florida's public universities and community colleges.
Many national online colleges also offer degrees and certificates to students in Florida. Some, such as Argosy University and Everest, even have physical campuses in Florida, where students may be able to pursue hybrid learning options. These programs combine online courses with on-campus sessions, such as discussion groups or labs. Based in Florida, Full Sail University is a nationally accredited school that offers both fully online and hybrid degrees in art, video game design, music production, and related entertainment fields.
Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges in Florida
Accreditation shows that a school has met certain criteria in order to provide a quality education for its students. Additionally, accreditation influences whether or not a school's credits will be honored by another institution, should a student wish to transfer. There are numerous associations responsible for the accreditation of colleges and universities throughout the nation, as well as the distance learning programs offered by these schools.
Many postsecondary institutions based in Florida are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). National colleges may receive accreditation from other agencies, such as the Higher Learning Commission or the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. To learn more about a particular institution's accreditation status, students should contact a school representative.
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