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IS DISTANCE EDUCATION FOR YOU?

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Distance Education has become a popular system of learning. Technology has allowed educators to develop distance courses that are in many cases equal to "on campus" courses. However, training by distance and correspondence does not suit all learning styles and many individuals do not learn well via this method. The distance student needs to be someone who does not mind working alone and who is highly organized and self-motivated. In all college courses, timelines and consistent progress in course work is important but even more essential with distance education course work. It is amazing how many things will come up in the day, week or month that have the potential of keeping the student from the course work. The negative feelings that arise from falling behind and the relative isolation of the distance student are two of the main reasons for incomplete work.

One myth of Distance Education learning is that courses are easier and are less of an academic challenge. This is not the case for any of the Summit Pacific College Distance Education programs. As is evident in our information about our programs; there is a considerable amount of work required to complete a program. This course work is typically in addition to working full time plus, in many cases, significant personal responsibilities, such as raising a family. The successful distance student must be highly motivated and self-disciplined.

Distance Education is not substantially less expensive than on campus training. Programs have to be developed, administered and taught and these are all expenses covered by the student fees. There are savings, however, in areas such as:

  • the cost of and time involved in relocating to a training center
  • loss of work income
  • in some cases, the cost of maintaining two residences
  • the emotional cost of being separated from family and friends
  • exemption from on campus student fees, lab levies, parking fees etc.

While there may be some evident cost savings to distance learning, it is important to note that most distance students may take almost twice as long to complete their program as compared to students enrolled in equivalent on campus programs.

KEY DIFFERENCES BEWEEN RESIDENTIAL & DISTANCE EDUCATION

One of the core differences in correspondence studies is the lack of classroom interaction and course lecture. The course lecture time is instead replaced with more reading and research components. Students on campus are also expected to submit their assignments according to a detailed schedule. The correspondence course is less stringent on deadlines and provides the student with more flexibility on assignment completion.

Furthermore, the student will miss a variety of on-campus events, chapel services, small group socials, and fellowship in the college community. Therefore, the student is encouraged to supplement their course work with regular activities in their local church and extended Christian community.

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