Online Schools in Georgia
According to 2011 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only about one-third of Georgia adults age 25 and older possess a college degree. Online schools offer Georgians more options and opportunities for attaining postsecondary education. Providing more flexibility than campus-based programs, most online colleges let students work toward a degree on their own time, balancing career and family with their academic pursuits. Additionally, those living in rural areas or far from local campuses can access online courses from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Online Education Resources for Students in Georgia
Many public and private institutions in Georgia offer online education options. Georgia ONmyLINE is an electronic database of distance education programs offered by the University System of Georgia’s 35 schools, such as the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. Prospective students can search for degrees or courses by subject area, institution and level. Similarly, Georgia Virtual Technical Connection hosts an electronic directory of 25 vocational schools offering associate degrees and technical certificates online.
Many national online schools also offer full degree programs to students in Georgia. Typically, these schools feature a broader range of online education options than traditional brick-and-mortar universities. Some, such as University of Phoenix and ITT Technical Institute, also have physical campuses in-state where students can attend class as well.
Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges in Georgia
Accreditation is the certification that a school or program meets certain academic standards. Along with helping determine the quality of a school or program, accreditation can be one factor that dictates whether other colleges will honor the school’s credits if a student decides to transfer.
Most institutions in Georgia fall under the jurisdiction of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a regional accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. While not associated with the SACS, the Southern Regional Education Board is a nonprofit organization made up of governors, legislators and educators dedicated to helping students in the region find higher education options. Its Electronic Campus hosts a searchable database of accredited online schools and programs both in Georgia and throughout the South.
Georgia Online Colleges and Tuition Rates
As with traditional degree programs, tuition rates for online programs vary according to school, degree level and area of study. For example, students pursuing an online degree from the University of Georgia, whether they live in-state or not, pay the UGA E-Rate per credit hour, plus additional fees. Georgia State University also offers all online programs at a flat electronic rate per credit hour, regardless of residency. For the 2012–13 academic year, all of Georgia Tech’s online master’s degree programs are charged per semester credit hour, with reduced fees available for active duty military. Programs may require additional fees and expenses. Prospective students should contact an admissions counselor for details on both tuition and the application process.
Selected Online Degree Programs in Georgia
Online Education Degrees in Georgia: An online degree program in education helps prepare individuals to teach students of their own. Along with effective instruction methods, graduates typically learn how to design and implement lesson plans, as well as properly evaluate students’ progress. Undergraduate courses tend to cover prevalent classroom exercises and teaching technology, while graduate study may emphasize learning theory, faculty administration and collegiate-level instruction. Degree specializations range from early childhood education to adult instruction, and many careers in the field require an additional state-issued teaching certificate. Examples of possible job opportunities include special education teacher, elementary school teacher, and adult literacy or GED instructor.
Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Georgia: Online criminal justice programs acquaint students with the U.S. justice system, covering topics such as legislation, law enforcement and crime prevention. Typical coursework examines the history of criminology, as well as emerging trends in the field. Along with studying the court system, corrections, security and policing, students may look at more advanced topics like terrorism and cybercrime. Degree concentrations often include juvenile justice, information security, crime scene investigation, administration and homeland security. With a degree in criminal justice, graduates may pursue career opportunities such as legal assistants, criminal investigators, probation officers or correctional treatment specialists.
Online Engineering Degrees in Georgia: Online engineering programs are concerned with the design, construction, and implementation of scientific, mechanical or technical systems. Graduates use creative application of scientific principles to solve problems, either by developing new tools or improving existing processes. Software and systems engineering are two popular online degrees in the field, but other specializations include mechanical, electrical and aerospace engineering. Due to the highly technical nature of these degrees, some programs may require on-campus training sessions. Related careers in the field include computer hardware engineer and electrical or electronics engineer.
Online schools in Georgia offer many other degree options for interested students. Examples of additional concentrations include social work, business administration, psychology and information technology. For details on available programs, contact an admissions advisor or request information from one of the schools listed below.
2011 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk
The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Index.aspx
Georgia Labor Market Explorer, Georgia Department of Labor, http://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/
Georgia ONmyLine, http://www.georgiaonmyline.org/
Georgia State University Online Tuition Rates, http://education.gsu.edu/main/Distance_Learning.htm
Georgia Tech Tuition Rates, http://www.dlpe.gatech.edu/dl/costs/
Georgia Virtual Technical Connection, http://www.gvtc.org/
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, http://sacs.org/
Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus, http://www.electroniccampus.org/
University of Georgia E-Rate, http://ra.rx.uga.edu/program_info/reg_affairs_masters/tuition.php#erate_tuition