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Online degree programs

  1. Jul 7, 2014 #1
    Hello to all on the forum. I was wondering about online undergraduate degrees. I turned 25 in May and am pursing a BS in Mathematics at my local university. However, I find myself failing a lot. It's not because of the material but my lack of availability to attend classes and submit assignments on time. I also have the added stress of raising a family but have not had steady work for quite sometime. So without going into too much detail I have an opportunity to sale cars and receive a decent salary. My only dilemma is I don't want to make that my career. So I was considering an online program from SNHU, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/undergraduate-degrees/mathematics-BA-online.asp. Any suggestions or thoughts on online degree programs? Are they worth it. Any help or opinions would be well taken. Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Online degree programs are either scams or, when associated with a reputable bricks-and-mortar college, an extension of the College's Distance Learning program.

    The big disadvantage with online programs, as with any distance learning, is the lack of face contact with staff, other students, and support services. Just the requirement to attend laboratories, tutorials, and lectures can improve grades. It take greater discipline to succeed in distance learning. OTOH: if you are generally unable to take advantage of these things anyway, then it may the the way for you to succeed.

    SNHU seems to get good reviews - but I have had no contact with that college myself.
    Naturally the courses are worth if if you succeed - they can still be worth it if you don't because the exposure can still impact your quality of life. There is no way to tell.

    You need to assess if you have the time and the discipline to complete a degree course.
    One way to work this is to attempt an undergrad diploma course that may be parlayed into a degree course later ... that approach lets you test the waters before you commit to a degree.
  4. Jul 8, 2014 #3
    Yeah I understand what you mean about the lack of support services. At my school that doesn't seem to be of very much help anyways. There are about 2 or 3 professors that are truly helpful outside of lecture. I find that I often learn more from reading the text book and just trying the problems than by attending lectures. SNHU uses black board and the professors are available for any homework help or questions I may have. They also have online tutoring should I need it.
  5. Jul 8, 2014 #4


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    I've taken a couple classes online, and I've yet to have a really good experience. One was taught alongside a traditional class - there were some 70 students taking the class online, in addition to the regular class. The prof was overwhelmed and unresponsive to questions.

    Another was a Coursera class that was especially frustrating. The tests were fill-in-the-blank type, and you only got credit if you typed in *exactly* what the program was looking for (for example if the answer was "about 100" and you typed in "approximately 100", you got zero credit).

    I think some people might be able to make it work, but I would advise it only as a last resort.
  6. Jul 9, 2014 #5
    My experience at Coursera was very good with one exception. I've taken about 7 classes with them, mostly in the astronomy area. Yes, you have to type in answers according to how the machine grades; it that so onerous?
    One instructor discovered several of the dwarf planets beyond Pluto(Mike Brown). We had some really tough problems requiring detailed calculations, and others requiring you to go beyond just regurgitating facts.
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