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Online Schools in Michigan

According to a report from the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, more than half of the jobs expected to see the most career growth and highest pay in Michigan between now and 2018 require a bachelor's degree or above. Online education may make earning a postsecondary degree more attainable by giving students more options and flexibility than traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Students juggling work or family commitments can often complete online course work on their own timeline, and those with travel limitations can access higher education from any location with an Internet connection. Online colleges in Michigan could help the state fill more job openings in coming years by helping students achieve the educational requirements necessary for the hottest occupations in the state.

Online Education Resources for Students in Michigan

Michigan has a number of options for students who wish to pursue a college degree online. Many of the state's colleges and universities now offer distance learning and online degree programs, including the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan State University, and Michigan Technological University, all ranked among U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges for 2012. The Michigan Community College Association also offers a Virtual Learning Collaborative that allows students to take courses that aren't offered at their own colleges, while still receiving support from their "home" campus.

National online colleges are another option for Michigan students pursuing postsecondary education. These colleges often offer degree programs and courses of study that are not yet available at area colleges. A number of national schools also have campus locations throughout Michigan, allowing students to pursue hybrid degree programs that combine online and on-campus learning.

Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges in Michigan

Accreditation, a method adopted by American secondary and postsecondary institutions more than 100 years ago, ensures that an academic institution has met certain educational standards. Moreover, accreditation evaluates an institution as a whole to determine how well it meets the needs of its students. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), grants accreditation to most degree-granting colleges and universities in Michigan. Some colleges with campuses in Michigan may actually be based in another state or region of the United States, however, and are therefore accredited by that region's accrediting body.

Aside from the six regional accreditation agencies, there is also national accreditation, which is not based on geography. National accreditation evaluates specific types of schools and colleges. For example, the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) accredits institutions offering distance education. Before enrolling in any program, prospective students should make sure it is properly accredited by contacting a school representative.

Michigan Online Colleges and Tuition Rates

Just like tuition rates for on-campus programs, rates for online degrees vary by school and major. Tuition is usually charged based on the number of units or credits taken, or by the semester or quarter. The University of Michigan charges per semester and by level of study, with a higher tuition rate for out-of-state students. Online programs often do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students when determining tuition and may offer, for example, one set rate for online classes, charged per credit hour, that's often higher for graduate-level studies. Additional fees and expenses may be required. Students interested in a particular university or program should contact that school directly and speak with an admissions counselor for more information on tuition rates and the application process.

Selected Online Degree Programs in Michigan

Online Nursing Degrees in Michigan: Depending on the particular degree path, nursing programs typically train students in various aspects of patient care and medicine. Many online nursing degrees are hybrid programs, requiring some time spent on-campus for labs or clinical courses. Types of careers one might pursue with a nursing degree include registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), licensed vocational nurse (LVN), or nurse practitioner (NP).

Online Education Degrees in Michigan: Education degrees help prepare students interested in the field of teaching, research, or school administration, and can include concentrations such as early childhood education, adult education, or special education. Depending on their particular area of focus, those with education degrees may qualify for positions as K-12 teachers, special education instructors, or school administrators.

Online Psychology Degrees in Michigan: Psychology programs may prepare students for a number of positions in the field, depending on the level of study. In addition to the proper licensure, professional psychologists typically need a doctoral degree to practice, while counseling positions generally require a master's degree. Some areas of specialization include abnormal psychology, forensic psychology, and family therapy.

There are many other degrees available through Michigan online colleges, including engineering, business administration, health sciences, and more. For details on a program that interests you, contact an admissions advisor or request information from one of the schools listed below.

Sources:
Cost of Attendance, Office of Financial Aid, University of Michigan, 2013
Davenport University Online, 2012
Graduate School, Online and Blended Programs, Michigan Tech
The Higher Learning Commission, A Commission of the North Central Association, 2013
Michigan Community College Virtual Learning Collaborative, A Project of the Michigan Community College Association, 2013
"Michigan's Hot 50: Tomorrow's High-Demand, High-Wage Careers, Job Outlook Through 2018," Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information & Strategic Initiatives
Online and Off-campus Programs, Office of the Registrar, Michigan State University, 2013
"U-M to offer free online courses in groundbreaking initiative," Michigan Today, University of Michigan, 2013
"U.S. News & World Report Ranks Michigan's Top Colleges," CBS Detroit, October 1, 2011

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