Distance Learning & Online Schools & Colleges

Online SchoolsDistance learning and online schools can help you make a change in your life. You can obtain the education you want while holding down a full-time job, raising a family, or keeping up with the numerous other responsibilities that have been holding you back. Online learning lets you skip the commute and the class schedules and focus on your studies when it's convenient for you.

Through one of theseschools, you can open the door to an almost limitless selection of programs and education levels. From vocational trades to health care and business programs, and everything in between, there is a distance learning program designed to help you achieve your career goals.

Online learning has evolved in recent years thanks to increasing access to the Internet, which means that your learning experience comes with plenty of support. Tutors, timely access to faculty, student chat rooms, and electronic textbooks are all features that can help you get the most out of your education.

Your options for attending school online are growing by the day. If you're considering this as a route to a post-secondary degree, or just want to supplement your existing education, you are in very good company. Start your education journey right now by finding the right school for you. Or, if you're looking for a bit more information about online training first, this article can provide an excellent place to begin.

Online schools are going mainstream. So explore these education resources, then get going. There's so much to learn!

Featured Schools

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division

  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • 3D Modeling for Games
  • Advertising
  • Character Animation for Games
  • Culinary Management
  • Digital Design
  • Digital Workflow
  • Event Management
  • Fashion & Retail Management
  • Food & Beverage Operations
  • Game Art & Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Hotel & Restaurant Management
  • Interior Design
  • Internet Marketing
  • Media Arts & Animation
  • Photography
  • Portrait Photography
  • Residential Planning
  • Studio Photography
  • Web Design
  • Web Design & Interactive Media
  • San Joaquin Valley College Online

  • Business Administration
  • Construction Management
  • Human Resource Administration
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Office
  • Laurus College

    (California Residents Only)
  • 3D Animation
  • Computer Networking
  • Information Technology & Service Professional
  • Medical Billing
  • Office Support
  • Professional Business Systems
  • Web Design
  • Brookline College

    • Accounting
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Criminal Justice & Cyber Security
    • Criminal Justice & Intelligence Analysis
    • Digital Forensics & Investigation
    • Health Care Administration
    • Health Care Information
    • Management
    • Medical Insurance Billing & Coding
    • Paralegal Studies


  • Building Information Modeling
  • Digital Media Production
  • Game Production
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Technology
  • Internet Marketing
  • Retail Merchandise Management
  • Web Design and Development
  • Daymar College

    *Not available to residents of WI.
    • Accounting
    • Business Management
    • Criminal Justice
    • Criminal Justice Administration
    • Health Care Administration:
      • Billing & Coding
      • Medical Administrative
      • Pharmacy Technology
    • Medical Assisting - Administrative
    • Medical Billing and Coding
    • Nursing (RN to BSN)
    • Pharmacy Technology

    Pinnacle Career Institute - Online

    *Not available to residents of AR.
  • HVAC Technician
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist*
  • Personal Trainer
  • Pharmacy Technician*
  • Wind Turbine Technician
  • Kaplan University Online

    • Accounting
    • Business Administration
    • Child Development
    • Child and Family Welfare
    • Communication
    • Corrections
    • Crime Scene Investigation
    • Criminal Justice
    • Early Childhood Development
    • Forensic Psychology
    • Gerontology
    • Health and Wellness
    • Homeland Security
    • Human Services
    • Information Technology
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Law Enforcement
    • Legal Studies
    • Medical Assisting
    • Medical Office Management
    • Network Administration
    • Nutrition Science
    • Paralegal Studies
    • Psychology
    • Substance Abuse
    • And More!

    Academy of Art University

  • Advertising
  • Animation & Visual Effect
  • Architecture
  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Fashion
  • Fashion Journalism
  • Fashion Styling
  • Fine Art
  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Architecture & Design
  • Jewelry & Metal Arts
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Motion Pictures & Television
  • Multimedia Communications
  • Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media
  • Photography
  • Visual Development
  • Web Design & New Media
  • Full Sail University

  • Computer Animation
  • Creative Writing for Entertainment
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Entertainment Business
  • Game Art
  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Internet Marketing
  • Media Communications
  • Mobile Development
  • Music Business
  • Music Production
  • Sports Marketing and Media
  • Web Design & Development
  • Career Point College

    (OK & TX Residents Only)
  • Accounting
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cyber Security
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Insurance Coding and Billing
  • Information Technology Network Administration
  • Network Support Specialist
  • Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

    Not available in KS, MN, TX, or WA
  • Culinary Management
  • Culinary Operations Hybrid
  • Hospitality & Restaurant Management
  • AmeriTech College

  • Health Information Technology
  • Medical Coding and Reimbursement
  • RN to BSN Degree Completion
  • Dawn Career Institute Online

  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Keiser University eCampus Online

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Health Services Administration
  • Homeland Security
  • Information Technology
  • Management Information Systems
  • Medical Assisting
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • And more!
  • Daytona College

    Online program availability varies by state.
  • Business Administration
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Cleveland Institute of Electronics

  • A+ Certification & Computer Technology
  • Broadcast Engineering
  • CompTIA Network+ Certification & Computer Technology
  • Computers & Microsoft Office
  • Computer Information Technology & Systems Management
  • Computer Programming with Java and C#
  • Electronics Engineering
  • Electronics Technology & Advanced Troubleshooting
  • Electronics Technology with Digital & Microprocessor Labs
  • Electronics Technology with FCC License Prep
  • Electronics Technology with Lab
  • Industrial Electronics with PLC Technology
  • Software Engineering
  • Wireless & Electronic Communications
  • Penn Foster Career School

  • Automotive
  • Business
  • Creative & Design
  • Education
  • Health Services
  • High School Diploma
  • Legal Studies
  • Technology
  • Trades
  • Automotive Training Centres

  • Auto Body Collision Estimator
  • Automotive Business Manager
  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Allied Schools

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Advanced Principles of Photovoltaic Systems Installation
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Contractors' License
  • Home Inspection
  • ICD-10 Comprehensive Coding Training
  • Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems
  • Legal Secretary
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Billing
  • Medical Coding
  • Medical Terminology
  • Notary Public
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Professional Property Management
  • Real Estate
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • And More!
  • Penn Foster College

  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health Services
  • Legal Studies
  • Technology
  • Ashworth College

  • Accounting Basics
  • AutoCAD
  • Carpentry
  • Child Care Provider
  • Computer Accounting
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Service & Repair: Hardware
  • Electrician Training
  • Electronic Health Records Management
  • Floral Design
  • Gourmet Cooking and Catering
  • Gunsmithing
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Home Inspection
  • Interior Decorating
  • Jewelry Design and Repair
  • Landscape Design
  • Locksmithing
  • Medical Transcription
  • Motorcycle Mechanics
  • Nutrition, Diet & Health Science
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Plumbing
  • Private Investigation
  • Property Management
  • Sales Introduction
  • Small Business Management
  • Teacher Assisting
  • Travel Agent
  • Veterinary Assisting
  • Wedding Planner
  • Writing Children's Books
  • Stratford Career Institute

  • Accounting
  • Administrative Assistant/Secretary
  • Art
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Beauty Care
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business Management
  • Child Psychology
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Training
  • Conservation/Environmental Sciences
  • Contractor/Construction Management
  • Cooking and Catering
  • Creative Writing
  • Dental Assistant
  • Drafting with AutoCAD
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Electrician
  • Fashion Merchandising and Design
  • Fitness and Nutrition
  • Forensic Science
  • Funeral Service Education
  • Gardening and Landscaping
  • Health Care Aide
  • High School
  • Interior Decorating
  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Motorcycle/ATV Repair
  • Natural Health Consultant
  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Photography
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Plumbing
  • Private Investigator
  • Professional Locksmith
  • Psychology/Social Work
  • Real Estate Appraisal
  • Relaxation Therapist
  • Security and Police Sciences
  • Sewing and Dressmaking
  • Small Engine Repair
  • Spanish as a Second Language
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Video Game Design
  • Wedding Consultant
  • And More!

  • Online Schools: 4 Factors to Consider

    Online schools are growing at an astonishing rate.

    Online education is such a popular option because it allows you to learn at your own pace while balancing work, family, and social commitments. But with so many institutions now offering online delivery, how do you choose a school and program that fits your goals? And what are the key actions to take if you want to succeed in an online environment?

    According to survey data gathered in 2013, the percentage of U.S. higher education students who took at least one online course was at an all-time high—33.5 percent. In fact, that translates to 7.1 million students in 2013, up 6.1 percent from 2012. In addition, 90 percent of academic leaders believe that, within five years, it is likely or very likely that most post-secondary students will be enrolled in at least one online course. *

    These numbers mean you will have more schools to choose from and more programs to consider. So, to help you find the distance learning option that best meets your needs, here are four suggestions to keep in mind as you focus your search.

    1. Look Into How the Courses Are Structured

    Streaming video and virtual classrooms are popular tools. But different online schools may take advantage of different formats. So, when doing your research, look for tutorials or "test drives." Many schools and colleges, through their websites, offer students the chance to preview their online educational experiences.

    This might be especially important for particular fields of study. For example, business administration programs may rely heavily on group projects. That means the school should make it easy for students to contact each other via email or live chatting so that they can quickly divide coursework.

    Delivery is another important word to remember. Try to find out whether programs are delivered exclusively online or through a combination of mediums like print, video conferencing, or CD-ROM. Ask about the nature of group work, too, since some schools may encourage students to meet in person.

    2. Go Over the Technical Requirements

    Technology can change quickly, so ensure that you have the hardware and software required for a particular online program. It's also a good idea to make sure that round-the-clock technical support will be just a click or call away.

    Compare the specs of your home computer with the technical requirements listed on school websites. That way, you'll know whether you need any upgrades. And remember: many powerful software applications and technologies are free. So a school that uses them will help you stay up-to-date without needing to spend a bundle. OpenOffice for word processing, QuickTime for video, and Adobe Acrobat for document sharing are just a few basic examples.

    3. Determine How Accessible the Staff and Resources Are

    Find out how easy it is to reach the people who will be evaluating you. Look for instructor email links, toll-free phone numbers, and scheduled office hours. At many schools, professors and instructors answer questions and engage in group discussions or online chat during set hours.

    That goes for teaching assistants too. Many professors and instructors enlist assistants to grade assignments and lead discussion groups. You'll want access to those important resources.

    And since online schools allow you to study during day or night, it's helpful to be able to take advantage of support resources at times that fit your schedule. You may not be able to speak with an instructor at 3 a.m., but access to online libraries might make completing your assignments easier.

    4. Make Sure You Have the Commitment

    Sure, you can attend class in your bathrobe from your couch. But are you disciplined enough to thrive? Online schools allow you to learn at your own pace and avoid commutes. But you still have to do your part by ensuring that you have enough time in your week to complete assignments before you enroll.

    Also, make sure you can create a good learning environment at home or wherever you'll choose to study. Family and friends need to know that you require alone time with no distractions.

    Never Be Afraid to Continue Learning

    If you're a self-starter, disciplined, dedicated, and understand the importance of time management, then you'll make a good student. These characteristics are important regardless of whether you pursue an education online or on a campus. So, are you set to begin making your goals come to fruition? Use this moment to search for an online school that offers what you need to move ahead!

    * Babson Survey Research Group, Pearson, and the Sloan Consortium, Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, website accessed January 23, 2014.