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Whatever your reason to pursue a degree online, you have to wonder about which ones are the best to
earn online. You want to make sure that the degree you opt for will be beneficial to your career and bring
you personal satisfaction.In this article, we will take a look at some online degrees for you to choose from
that are currently popular with online students.

Online degree in Business Administration

An online degree in business administration is a great choice for those working professionals who are
looking to broaden their knowledge, develop valuable skills and be eligible for better job opportunities.
These degrees can be performed at a pace most convenient to studentsso theydon’t have to worry about
giving up current responsibilities.

Online degree in Criminal Justice

A degree in criminal justice enhances a student’s problem solving abilities and critical reasoning skills.
These acquired skills will be valuable in probationary procedures, correctional facilities, government and
private security settings.

Online degree in Healthcare

Healthcare is one those few industries that is hiring at a rapid rate inspite of the economic crisis. Over the
years, the healthcare industry has started making use of technology to manage care delivery to patients
more effectively. Pursuing a degree in healthcare online will give you an edge as it will familiarize you
with various softwares and latest technology. Most online colleges make provisions for students to get
adequate field experience while pursuing their degree in a certain field as well.

Online degrees in Computers and Information Technology

Computer and Information technology related degrees work very well online for the simple reason that
online programs are carried out using latest web tools and softwares. If you plan on pursuing a degree in
computers and information technology, you might not find it hard to imagine why they are so popular. It’s
all conducted online through a computer!

Online degree in early childhood educationMost online colleges offer degrees in early childhood education. These degrees focus on providing
knowledge about social, ethical, societal, moral and legal issues that affect child development. The
course structure includes extensive studies of childpsychology, group behavior, family studies, classroom
management etc. Some online colleges assist students in preparing students for licensure at an
elementary level.

Where should you begin your search?

The most important thing to look for in an online college while doing your research is accreditation.
Accreditation provides reassurance about the quality of education you receive at a college, among
other things. An example of an online college that has been accredited is  Independence University.
Accreditation of  Independence University is from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and
Colleges (ACCSC), recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

As online education gains more popularity, more and more educational degrees will be introduced
by colleges all over the world. The above mentioned degrees are a few such online degrees that are
currently popular among online students. We hope that you find something of interest here too!

FAQ ONLINE Professional degrees in:
> SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURES
> PROJECT MANAGEMENT OF CIVIL STRUCTURES AND INFRASTRUCTURES


1) Why choose a Professional degree?
A recent study (2010) conducted in the United States shows a clear connection between
educational qualification and earnings.

An advanced Master by an Italian University is equivalent to a ‘Professional degree’. And a
Professional degree paves the way to earnings which are on average 26,5% higher than
those of people with only a Master’s degree.

2) Is it better or more useful to attend a Professional degree course in the classroom rather
than online?

No. The teachers and contents of lessons are the same for classroom and online
attendance. Besides, thanks to the Blackboard platform, online attendees can participate
in the class and ask questions, exactly as if they were in the classroom. Blackboard includes
a library which allows students to download all relevant materials. Additionally, at predetermined
hours, students will be able to talk to teachers for any questions or
clarifications.

3) What tools will be available to the students, while attending the courses online?
Each student will have a personal account to access the Blackboard platform (the number
one platform worldwide for online education). The platform provides a clear interface
displaying the contents of every lesson, a list of the activities and the calendar. Students
will be able to purchase textbooks online, as well as communicate with teachers and fellow
students (by blog, chat, etc. ). With their account they will also be able to participate
actively to classes in synchronous mode or re‐watch video recorded sessions. Please note
that the English translation of the sessions is only available in the asynchronous mode.

4) What computer requirements are necessary to attend the online Professional degree
course?
Only minimum requirements are necessary with regard to the Browser. Blackboard is
compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP and Mac OSX 10.5 and later versions. In order to
attend sessions in the synchronous mode, we suggest that students buy a common
headset.

5) If any organizational problems arise, how will they be addressed and solved online?
Any organizational problems reported by classroom students are managed and solved by
the administrative office; the same applies to online students: an administrative office will
answer online students’ questions in real‐time. The online administrative office may be
contacted by phone, email and chat.

6) What are the differences between attending a Professional degree in the classroom and
an online Professional degree, then?

The only difference is to be found in the students’ wants and needs. Attending a
Professional degree course in the classroom is preferable for new graduates and people
who are looking for a job, who have the opportunity and economic means to move to
Milan and live there for a year. On the other hand, an online Professional degree course is
preferable for people who already have a job or who do not have the opportunity and/or
economic means to move to and live in Milan.

7) What is the length of the online Professional degree course and what kind of
commitment is required?

Each of the two Professional degrees comprises approximately 300 hours of classes, which
will take place on weekdays according to a pre‐determined calendar. The classes will be
held during the first semester (November 2012 – April 2013). During the following months,
the videos of all the classes may be watched in the asynchronous mode, students will study

individually and further review the subjects of all the courses and prepare the final
exercise, which is scheduled to be submitted and assessed by October 2013.

8) How could I attend online courses, if I have a full‐time job?
The video recording of each session will be uploaded on the Blackboard platform 7 days
after it took place, and it will be available for students to watch. Along with the video,
students will also be able to access all materials pertaining to each session. This way,
students will be able to watch the video of each session at their convenience (in the
evening, or over the weekend), in the asynchronous mode.
In addition to the asynchronous mode, the synchronous mode is also available. The
synchronous mode may be used by students to participate actively to classes in real time;
students may also use the synchronous mode for just one or few specific lessons of their
choice.

9) How many times will I need to go to the F.lli Pesenti Master School, at the Politecnico di
Milano?

Students are never required to be physically present at the School. The advantage brought
by an online Professional degree, along with schedule optimization and flexibility, is that
costs for students are reduced to a minimum. For this reason, requiring students to travel
was deemed unnecessary. Therefore all exercises and final presentations will be uploaded
and assessed online.

10)What professors will be delivering the online Professional degree lectures?
The lectures will be delivered by professors of the following Departments: DIS (Structural
Engineering Department), DIG (Management Engineering Department, MIP), BEST, and the
Architecture and Planning Department of the Politecnico di Milano. Further lectures will be
delivered by well‐known external professionals, including designers, real estate
professionals, corporate managers and money managers: Cityedge (Italian Partner of
Studio Daniel Libeskind), Vittorio Grassi Architect & Partners (designers), Hines (real
estate), Impregilo (corporate management), Horo Capital (money management).
Additionally, internationally renowned professionals will deliver seminars.

11)What are the main subjects taught in these two online Professional degree courses?
The main subjects are the units listed on the online Professional degrees brochure. Further
details may be found in the announcements of the online Professional degrees.

12)Where can I find the announcements of the online Professional degrees?
The announcements of the online Professional degrees may be downloaded from the
following link:
http://www.polimi.it/didattica/catalogodeicorsi/master‐universitari/masterattivi/

13) Is an internship required at the end of the course?
A few months’ internship would represent a serious barrier to students who have a job or
who cannot move to Milan. For this reason, for online students the internship will be
represented by the submission of a final exercise, which will be a work‐related assignment,
to be assessed by a teaching Commission.
Should online students expressly request to do an internship, after completion of all
classes, an internship position will be searched and offered. However, with regard to
internships, classroom students will always be given priority over online students.

14)The registration fee written in the announcements of the online professional degrees is
different from the one on the brochure: which registration fee is correct?

Given the current economic difficulties in most European countries (and particularly in
Italy), the School board of the F.lli Pesenti Master School of the Politecnico di Milano has
decided to reduce the registration fee for online Professional degrees, in order to best
meet the needs of students. However, when the School board made this decision, the
Professional Degree Department of the Politecnico di Milano had already published the
announcements, which are going to be officially amended. Therefore, the registration fee
currently indicated in the announcements is no longer valid, whereas the correct
registration fee is written on the brochure of the online Professional degrees. (€3000 for
registrations received by 31/07/2012. €3500 for registrations received after that date, but
not later than 31/10/2012).

15)Some of the units of the online Professional degree in “Project Management of Civil
Structures and Infrastructures” listed in the brochure are different from those listed in
the relevant announcement: which list of units is correct?

The teaching contents of the online Professional degrees are updated nearly every year, in
order to provide up‐to‐date and constantly improved notions. For the same reason
explained in the previous question, in this case the contents of the online Professional
degree in “Project Management of civil structures and infrastructures” have been updated
after the Professional Degree Department of the Politecnico di Milano had published the
announcements. Therefore, the correct list of units is written in the brochure, with the
required number of hours and credits.

16)Can I only register for one online Professional degree, or can I register for both?
No, the law does not allow students to register for a university Professional degree and to
register, at the same time, for another course provided by an Italian university.

17) If I registered for an online Professional degree but was also interested in attending only
some units of the other online Professional degree, would I be allowed to do so?

Yes! It is possible to attend any unit individually; in order to do this, the registration fee of
each unit is €400 (with the exception of the CENED unit, for which the registration fee is
€500). Clearly, students attending one online Professional degree and also some units of
the other online Professional degree, will only receive one Professional degree certificate.

18)The CENED unit included in the online Professional degree in “Sustainable Buildings and
Infrastructures” provides a license: if I registered for the online Professional degree in
“Project Management of Civil Structures and Infrastructures” and decided to also attend
the CENED unit, would I also receive the CENED license in the end, in addition to the
Professional degree certificate?

Yes, certainly! The only requirement is to pass the specific exam which is held online.

19)What educational qualifications are required in order to attend the online Professional
degrees? What are the requirements?

The online Professional degrees in “Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructures” and in
“Project Management of Civil Structures and Infrastructures” are postgraduate
Professional degrees. Therefore, in order to receive the relevant certificate, a Master’s
Degree is required. The contents of these Professional degrees are directed primarily to
engineers and architects. However, similar qualifications will be evaluated by the teaching
Commission on a case by case basis. Candidates will be notified of the requirements which
are essential for admission.

20) Is there a restricted number of participants or a selection process?
Yes. Admission will only be granted following the assessment of qualifications and cv by a
Commission and after a phone interview between a member of the school board and the
candidate.
For further questions and for specific information about the registration for online Professional
degrees, please contact Mr. Mario Tropea, Engineer.
By phone: +39 392 4069385, Or by e‐mail: tropea@stru.polimi.it

Background: For the past several years, online enrollments have been growing substantially faster
than overall higher education enrollments. The expectation of academic leaders has been that these
enrollments would continue their substantial growth for at least another year. Do the measured
enrollments match these lofty expectations?

The evidence: Online enrollments have continued to grow at rates far in excess of the total higher
education student population, albeit at slower rates than for previous years.

• Almost 3.5 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall
2006 term; a nearly 10 percent increase over the number reported the previous year.

• The 9.7 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.5 percent growth
of the overall higher education student population.

• Nearly twenty percent of all U.S. higher education students were taking at least one
online course in the fall of 2006.


The focus of this report is online education. In order to be consistent with previous work,
we have applied the same definitions used in our prior reports. These definitions were
presented to the respondents at the beginning of the survey, and then repeated in the
body of individual questions where appropriate.
The primary focus of this report, online courses, are defined as having at least 80% of the
course content delivered online. The combination of two of the classifications listed below
(traditional and web facilitated) is used as the definition of “face-to-face” instruction (in other
words, a course with zero to 29% of the content delivered online) The remaining alternative,
blended courses (sometimes called hybrid courses) are defined as having between 30%
and 80% of the course content delivered online. While the survey asked respondents for
information on all types of courses, results of the analysis of blended options will be presented
in a future publication; the current report is devoted to online only.
While there is a great deal of diversity among course delivery methods used by individual
instructors, the following is presented to illustrate the prototypical course classifications
used in this study.



Schools may offer online learning in a variety of ways. The survey asked respondents to
characterize their face-to-face, blended, and online learning by the level of the course
(undergraduate, graduate, continuing education, etc.). Likewise, respondents were asked
to characterize their face-to-face, blended, and online program offerings for certificate,
associate, bachelors, masters, doctoral, and professional programs.


Despite the rapid growth in online education, questions remain about the nature of that experience. Some educators cast doubt on the quality of online courses and make the point that online degree pro-grams are too susceptible to fraud and can devalue a college degree (Peabody, 2001; Symonds, 2001). Although more institutions are beginning to offer “hybrid” or “blended" courses that combine the online delivery of content with face-to-face instruction, a recent report indicates that most students do not expect to receive the same level of interaction with instructors in online courses (Altschuler, 2001).

Some educators also have misgivings about the effectiveness of distance education and whether the learning experience and outcomes that take place over the Internet are equal to those occurring in traditional academic settings (Maki & Maki, 2002; Young, 2000).

A recent review of research on this topic, conducted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, states that the overall quality of much of the research on distance learning is questionable and, thus, the findings are inconclusive (Phipps & Merisotis, 1999). Another review of over 400 studies concludes that there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of the two methods (Russell, 2000). (See also Twigg,
2003, p. 28).

More recently, however, a significant question has arisen. It concerns the acceptability of bachelor’s degrees that have been earned solely or partly online as criteria for entry into established graduate
DeFleur and Adams programs.

Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate there may be some
problems with the acceptability of course work completed online when
students apply to traditional institutions. Administrators of some online
colleges have complained that their students often get a “rude surprise” if they try to transfer to a traditional institution and find their
course credits “don’t count for anything” (Carnevale, 2002a). Although
some of these students later succeeded in persuading administrators
to accept their credits, others are unable to do so, resulting in wasted
time and money. However, it appears that differences in national and
regional accreditation agencies may explain some of these problems
(Carnevale).

There is also evidence that some academic administrators do not
view teaching an online course as a significant professional accomplishment. In a national survey, 109 university and college administrators were asked to evaluate performance criteria for awarding
promotion and tenure (Adams, 2003). The list of criteria included
“managing an online course," as well as excellent teaching evaluations, and various categories of scholarly publications and service.

Although managing an online course is time-intensive, it was not
viewed as an important aspect of job performance for awarding raises,
tenure or promotion (Adams).
In spite of these problems, however, many administrators are
optimistic about the future of online education. In a survey conducted
by Babson College and the Sloan Consortium, one third of 1,000
respondents believed that the quality of online education would be
superior to traditional instruction at their institutions within three years
(Allen & Seaman, 2003).

The issue of faculty rewards for preparing and teaching online
courses, as well as the quality of these courses, certainly are important in the debate about online education and are indications of the degree to which such instruction is accepted and valued by some administrators. However, the critical issue is what happens to the students when they complete courses and undergraduate degree pro-grams online. What is likely to happen to such students who then knock at the doors of traditional institutions, hoping to begin their graduate education? Thus, the question addressed by this study is whether a bachelor’s degree, earned entirely in a traditional manner, half online, or entirely online is equally acceptable to those who serve as admission officers for graduate admissions in institutions.

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