Check to ensure the college is accredited by legitimate accrediting agency. Accreditation means the college and programs meet certain set educational quality and standards. This also means courses and credits acquired can be easily transferred to another accredited institution, whether online or brick and mortar college. You’ll stand a better chance of securing employment or promotion at work, if you have an accredited degree.

Be aware of degree mills – there are many questionable accreditation agencies are on the internet that are outright fraud and are willing to give fake “accreditation” to any institution willing to pay a fee. Some degree mills are even owned by these same fake accreditation agencies. Make sure you do your homework and thoroughly investigate the accreditation that the college of your choice claims to have. While many online colleges are legitimately accredited, be aware that there are many who are not. Check out potential college to see if the accreditation body approved by the United States for education or CHEA

. Does a college degree program you want to continue to stand with their long-term goals and career? if you mean for example, enroll in an online associate degree program and later hope to earn bachelors degree (online or campus), find out how likely it is that your associate degree transfer rate in search for a list of faculty who accept transfer credits.

Just as in the traditional classroom, class size is important. Want to be in the class where your voice heard. So check out the size of a college class thinking

. It’s good to know more about the program you are interested instructors are qualified to teach this class? Do they have experience in their field or specialization? Do you have taught online classes before? How long have they been teaching? Get answers to these questions. It is reassuring if more instructors hold degrees from a college that you plan to enroll.

Su administrators, technical staff and faculty react if you need help or have questions with your courses? Since every college offers a different form and level of support, make sure you find one that is consistent with your needs and expectations. This will alleviate frustration when you need help during school

. Since most colleges begin their online distance education programs at any time and all the time, I do not feel pressure to start your program immediately if you are not mentally ready. Online education calls for motivation, so you just need to start when you feel emotionally set and ready to put the effort to get through with their learning.

Be sure you understand whether a certificate or diploma can be completed entirely online or whether on site projects, class meetings, or residency periods will be required

. Most online colleges offer financial aid and tuition assistance. You will be happy to discover how much financial assistance you have available inform of loans, grants, financial assistance and other federal loans. Some institutions even have tuition payment plans and employer-benefit programs. Find out if your college of interest offers such programs

Mary Jackson is editor of , where you can begin to search for accredited programs and degrees. Find more tips for success of distance education.