The current challenges facing traditional colleges and universities — including higher tuition, budget cuts, and course shortages — cause many students to search for alternatives. With nearly three million students currently enrolled in fully online programs and six million taking at least one online course as part of their degree, online education has clearly become one of the most popular higher education alternatives. The continually improving reputation of online learning helped fuel its expansion, as initial skepticism faltered in the face of evidence showing that online learning can be just as effective as face-to-face education.
Some of the key advantages students have found in attending online schools is the flexibility it affords them and the ability to learn in a non-classroom environment that may be more suitable for some students who are not succeeding in traditional schools. Like any public school, the online public schools served by K12 are also tuition-free, thus available to any student looking for an alternative, subject to any state limitations such as enrollment caps.
Traditional public schools follow a rigid schedule of daily lessons. In contrast, with the online public schools served by K12, students have the flexibility to determine how much time is necessary to spend on each day’s lessons. Although students must master their lessons and pass their exams, they can work at their own pace each day to maximize their chances for succeeding.
Prior to the mid-90s, students didn’t have a lot of options for schooling. There were a few distance learning programs and some parents could teach their children at home, but most students had to attend a brick-and-mortar school to get their education.
That all changed with the advent of personal computers, the Internet, and Wi-Fi. Now students have choices, with a variety of online learning options. Although online learning is now well established for all levels of education, many are not familiar with online schools and the advantages they offer students.
So take a look at just some of the ways students are benefiting from online learning: