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Comparative Study Of Traditional And Online Degree Programs

1365 words - 6 pages


With the continuing rise in technology, distance education has become increasingly popular as schools are offering more online classes every year. The growth of distance education has gone beyond online classes and expanded to the birth of online universities and degree programs.

You have homeschooled three of your four children until college. You loved how homeschooling them gave you time to spend with them and offered them a free-flowing and flexible learning environment. For the past few years, you have wondered if it was possible to homeschool your children through college. Over the past few weeks, you have expressed to me your interest in online degree programs for your youngest daughter, who is considering majoring in computer science. However, because online degree programs are still new, you’re also concerned about the quality of learning and the post-graduation opportunities offered by online degree programs. You don’t want to sacrifice quality for flexibility.

This comparative study will evaluate the online and traditional degree programs of several schools. It will identify the better schooling option and the best school for your daughter based on your minimum requirements.

Minimum Specifications

From our discussions, you have told me the ideal schooling option would have the following qualities:

• Net cost below $7,000 / year
• Good job opportunities, benefits, and salaries for your daughter post-graduation
• Good computer science curriculum
• Most flexible time-wise
• Many internship opportunities
• Ease of accepting homeschooled students


We have established two broad options for comparison. For each option are two example schools. You have previously expressed interest in two schools that offer traditional computer science degree programs, while the schools that offer online degree programs were identified through preliminary research. The options and example schools are listed below:

• Online degree programs, offered at the following universities:
o Regis University
o University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

• Traditional degree programs, offered at the following universities:
o University of Washington (UW)
o University of California, Irvine (UC, Irvine)

Classes offered in traditional degree programs may consist of online, hybrid, and in-class courses, although in-class courses will be the focus. However, classes offered in online degree programs will consist of only online classes.

Evaluative Criteria

From our discussions on options and minimum requirements, I will evaluate each of the options with the following criteria:

• Net cost—i.e. the cost after financial aid and scholarships are accounted for
• Application requirements
• Quality of curriculum
• Graduation rate
• Internship Opportunities
• Ease of being hired post-graduation
• Quality of jobs found post-graduation

The last four criteria will evaluate the job prospects for your daughter post-graduation, which you...

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