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Online Schools in Ohio

The University System of Ohio Board of Regents released its "Complete College Ohio" report in November 2012, outlining challenges the state faces in the coming years in regard to education. One of the most telling lines in the report reveals that "more than half of all Ohioans who enroll in college fail to earn a degree and often leave with high levels of debt." This doesn't bode well for the state, as the majority of new jobs added through 2020 will require some form of postsecondary credential.

This is where online degree programs can help. Thanks to online learning, those who never had the chance to graduate may be able to earn or complete a degree on their own time, in the comfort of their own home. By offering residents this option, Ohio might be able to change the detrimental trajectory of these current workforce projections.

Online Education Resources for Students in Ohio

In order to help citizens navigate their degree options, the Ohio Board of Regents, in conjunction with the state government, created OhioMeansSuccess, a website where both students and parents can find information on college and career opportunities. There site includes a section for programs aimed at adult learners, who may want to earn a degree or take courses to enhance their current skills, as well as a guide on how to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. Additionally, students can find a searchable catalog of online courses and degree programs offered by Ohio colleges and universities.

Individuals can also explore the option of enrolling in online degree programs or courses through schools with a national presence. Florida Tech University, Everest University, and Strayer University are just some of the larger online colleges that offer degrees to students in Ohio. These schools typically boast a wider range of fully online programs than state schools. Some, such as Strayer and Everest, even have campus locations in the state, where students may be able to pursue hybrid learning options.

Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges in Ohio

Accreditation is important because it ensures that a college or university has met the standards necessary to deliver a quality education. For certain degrees to qualify students to work in their field of choice, the issuing institution must be accredited by the proper agency. There are six main regional agencies maintained by the Secretary of Education that evaluate the programs and courses offered by postsecondary schools. The majority of colleges and universities in Ohio are overseen by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

However, there are a number of other accrediting bodies in addition to these six regional ones. Some institutions petition for a different accrediting agency and/or request that individual programs be evaluated by specialized entities. For example, programs that train students to become teachers may be accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Students should check with a school representative to verify a program's accreditation status before enrolling. Typically, if a school is accredited, students can apply the credits they earn there towards a degree at another institution if they decide to transfer.

Ohio Online Colleges and Tuition Rates

Online students will find that colleges and universities employ different methods for calculating the costs of tuition. Ohio State University, for instance, has two different prices for in-state vs. out-of-state residents, as well as varying rates depending on which campus students attend. The University of Cincinnati's online programs charge per term/semester, and include a small surcharge for non-residents. As tuition is subject to change, individuals should contact a school representative for details before enrolling in any program.

Selected Online Degree Programs in Ohio

Online Social Work and Human Services Degrees in Ohio: Social work and human services programs typically train students to work with and advocate for individuals, families, or communities in need. Courses may cover human behavior, beginning psychology, and social welfare policy. With a degree in social work, students can go on to become social workers, correctional treatment specialists, or community service managers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who earn their graduate degree and the proper licensure may find work in clinics or provide one-on-one counseling services.

Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Ohio: Courses in this major generally impart knowledge of criminal investigation, information systems, constitutional law, and computer crime. Individuals may also learn about the juvenile justice system, urban diversity, and the psychology of policing. Often, students can choose from a number of specializations including corrections, crime and delinquency, forensic psychology, and crime-scene investigation.

Online Business Degrees in Ohio: Undergraduates in business degree programs typically learn the fundamentals of accounting, macro- and-microeconomics, finance, and human resources. There are a variety of specializations one can choose from, including global management, information systems, and small-business management. Students interested in earning a graduate degree generally learn project management, strategic planning and innovation, and qualitative and quantitative research methods. Graduates of online business degree programs may qualify to become accounting directors, financial analysts, securities analysts, or investment managers.

From career training to doctoral degrees, online schools in Ohio now boast a wide range of distance learning options. For more on available programs, request information from one of the schools listed below.

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition: Social Workers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Social-workers.htm#tab-4

Complete College Ohio, Task Force Report & Recommendations, University System of Ohio Board of Regents, November 2012 [PDF], https://www.ohiohighered.org/sites/ohiohighered.org/files/uploads/completion/CCO-task-force-report_EXECSUMMARY_FINAL.pdf

Ohio Higher Ed, University System of Ohio, https://www.ohiohighered.org/

OhioMeansSuccess, Adult Learners, 2013, http://www.ohiomeanssuccess.org/students/prepare-for-college/non-traditional-student/

The Ohio State University, Undergraduate Admissions, Tuition and fees, 2013, http://undergrad.osu.edu/money-matters/tuition-and-fees.html

University of Cincinnati, Distance Learning Programs and Fees (2012-2013), http://www.uc.edu/af/bursar/fees/2012-2013/distance_learning_programs.html

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