Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Distance Learning Allows You to Obtain an Education Anywhere, Anytime

What is the first step in obtaining a better career, switching careers or launching a new career? Post-secondary education, of course! Attending a college or university is very exciting. But what happens to those who wish to advance their professional life but are unable to attend full or part-time programs on campus? What if scheduling conflicts restrict the ability to attend evening or daytime courses? What if other responsibilities such as taking care of family duties don't allow for being away from home?

For these individuals there is Distance Learning - a form of education that allows students to complete courses without attending physical classes. This form of education has actually been available in Canada since 1889 when it provided degree opportunities for rural teachers who were unable to attend university full-time. By 1912, the Universities of Saskatchewan and Alberta were offering off-campus self-study programs for rural learners. In 1921, a parent wrote the BC Ministry of Education requesting study materials for his children because they were too far from a school, and at first primary and then secondary correspondence education was begun. Today, it is an increasingly popular from of continuing education for people who lead busy lives and still want to obtain an education.

Centennial College's School of Education is facilitated as an option for adult learners to complete a wide range of diplomas and certificates, or courses. It offers programs in areas such as business, communications, community services, engineering and technology, general education and teaching, and transportation and motorcycle. In total, the School offers 1,300 courses and programs.

The traditional form of Distance Learning is still offered at Centennial College. Because materials are physically mailed to students, it is called Print-Based Correspondence. Upon registration in this Distance Learning option, participants receive a Registration Confirmation Letter, Proctor Information Form, Student Guide and all of the educational materials required to complete their courses. While students are assigned a tutor, whom they can contact via phone or email should they encounter difficulty, for the most part they complete course work on their own. As such, the offerings in this format a limited to programs such as Business Management – Entrepreneurial, Business Management – International, Business Management – Marketing, Cosmetics by Correspondence, Ophthalmic Medical Personnel - Phases 1 and 2 and SmartServe.

Thanks to the public's use of technology, the predominant option for learning from a distance is online classes. This option allows much more interaction with instructors as well as peers from all over the world with the employment of discussion boards and emails. Students can access their "classroom" 24 hours a day and complete assignments right online. Thanks to the accessibility of online classes, Centennial College offers its student 40 programs, among which are: Educational Assistant Criminal Psychology and Behaviours, Geographic Information Systems, Office Bookkeeping, Professional Writing, Event Planning/Management, Translation in the Workplace, Quality Assurance and more.

Both the online or print-based options require students to complete an in-person exam, which must be written on the first Saturday following the course end date. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they complete the exam on the right date and meet the time constraints of their course. Students who fail to write their exam by the due date will receive a zero on their exam.

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