Online Degrees

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Scope of Online MBA Degree Programs

The advent of the internet has redefined a lot of things as we have understood them over the years. One of these is the concept of education that always meant taking one's books, going to college and sitting in a class full of students in front of a professor who educated one, sometimes through verbose lectures and sometimes through piles of notes. All that has changed and how!

The internet has set afloat a host of activities that can be conducted on line. One of them is attaining higher education through the online medium. It was not very long ago when one would give up one's dream of an MBA Degree, firstly for paucity of seats and secondly for the high cost it involved. In the present times this is an oft taken route by many and MBA studies are pursued on line, entirely in the scope of distance education.

These studies are in no way different from the regular traditional mode of studies nor are they of any less value. In fact, time and respect for time has attained a value much higher than it ever had and with everyone right from scholars to teachers multitasking, on line degrees have proved to be less time consuming and more cost effective than the regular classroom setting of education. Moreover, one who pursues an on line degree for MBA can suit one's convenience as to the number of hours one wants to give to one's studies and also the most suitable time for one to do so. One could be working full time and still be pursuing an MBA Degree in order to realize long nursed ambitions. On the other hand one could be a full time mother and yet there may be no need to put one's aspirations of higher studies in cold storage for ever. All one needs is a working computer and internet access to schedule one's coursework at a time most suited to oneself.

Another major plus in obtaining online degrees is that the opportunities for connecting with students, teachers, forums, faculties around the world are limitless because connectivity and interaction is only a click away. It is no more one's college community or interstate student community that one can call one's own; global boundaries have shrunk to encompass the best of students, faculties and communities to garner their talents and hone their skills to emerge stronger wiser and more knowledgeable than ever.

Colleges and educational institutions necessitate maintenance of infrastructure by way of buildings, faculty, staff and other incidental expenses leading to high tuition fees. Online degrees do not require one to attend lectures in a classroom setting and thus overheads are minimized which leads to making online courses far more financially viable and more affordable to at least some who would have otherwise have had to give higher studies a miss. The world is increasingly coming closer as a community and there is no denying that exposure to world class professors from world class communities and worthy students from all over the world do prepare one for a tomorrow that is brighter and better.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Online Distance Education - 4 Steps To Get Started

1. Make sure that distance learning is right for you

Earning a degree at home can be a dream come true for many potential students who cannot afford the time or money to go to university the traditional on-campus way, But there are also special challenges to go along with the hard work of earning a degree. Consider what kind of studying format will best fit the circumstances of your life. What will you need from a university in order to succeed? Can you truly manage to study without much extra help from the program, or will you require a substantial support system?

2. Decide on a course of study

Think carefully about what you want to study and why you want to study. You must be interested in your field of study if you want to do well. Don't major in something you are not really interested in, just because you think it's what you should take. The subject that is your true interest and is something you love to learn about is the one you will stick with long enough to experience the full benefits of a university degree. If you are not really interested in a subject, you will not put your best efforts into it - which is a waste of time and money.

If the credential you need to enhance your career is stultifyingly boring to you, that may be a signal to change careers. The true learning you need in order to survive is not going to be triggered by a subject you cannot beer studying. Select an area that turns you on intellectually, and you will have the inside track on a degree that can also bring success in your career. You will also love learning for the rest of your life - and that attitude is crucial to success.

3. Start collecting information

Find out which universities offer the degree you want through distance learning. If you are undecided on what course to take, browse through the subjects. You will be amazed at the variety of subjects available through home study. Read the profiles of the universities in which you are interested. Note the cost, any restrictions, and any peculiarities of the degree structure ( such as short residencies or specific starting dates), and consider if these will affect your situation in any way.

If you are interested enough in a particular degree to want more information, contact the university directly and request a prospectus. Most institutions will respond quickly to your request for information. You may also want to visit their Web sites to collect information - they often include a great deal of detail and can save you time.

4. Apply

Don't let the application forms sit around unused. This is the stage at which most people stop, and so never end up studying for the degree they want. The University of Victoria, for example, prints and distributes 100,000 application forms every year. Only 15,000 are actually returned completed. The only way to continue on the road toward your degree is to start the ball rolling at the university of your choice. If you don't apply, you will not be accepted. Don't fall into that trap. Apply, enroll, and start studying.

To get more information about online education, check out our website: Get Your University Degree At Home

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How To Enroll and Complete an Online Degree Course

The number of people choosing to pursue an online degree increases with each semester. The flexibility, convenience and cost effectiveness make the decision easy for some. How does a person decide to make the leap from a traditional university to an online degree program?

Entering into an online degree program is not difficult. Following these simple steps will ensure that every potential student has a smooth transition:

Is An Online Degree The Right Fit?

An online student needs to have the type of personality that will allow them to succeed in an environment that is quite secluded. Many online degree programs have interaction between students, but these are primarily online conversations and forums. There is not a lot of feedback in person. Students who thrive on social interaction need to carefully consider whether or not their education can thrive without it.

An online degree program requires a lot of dedication and self-motivation. Enrolled students need to have the internal drive to get the work done. With nobody watching to see if classes are attended or completed, it is easy to fall behind during a semester. Online degree students who are naturally driven and able to work easily from home often see the most success.

Research Online Degree Programs

Hundreds of online degree programs exist on the Internet. Once a student has decided this is the best route to pursue their degree, it is important to find the program with the best fit. There are several online directories, which make it easy to comb through the choices.

Take into consideration the school's accreditation, academic focus, and tuition. It is also important to investigate how they coordinate their online degree program and how the curriculum is presented. Some schools require students to "meet" online at specific times during the week for class. Others have a more flexible timeline. Once these parameters narrow the choices, a clear winner will emerge.

Enroll online

Most schools with online degree programs have an easily accessible online application for admission. Fill out and submit the application -- noting any special requirements (writing samples, letters of recommendation, etc.)

Once the school receives your application, they should let you know about any additional information or documents you need. These may include transcripts of previous work, a work and life-learning portfolio, and various documents related to finance.

Start the course

Beginning any degree program, whether online or through a traditional school, can impact a person's schedule immensely. Set aside a certain time each day for studies. Creating a consistent routine is especially helpful for first time online degree students.

It is also helpful to work with school administrators on an education plan. This should be a clear road map to degree completion and will allow the student to cross off mileposts as they go. Besides keeping a student on track academically, it also serves to motivate and celebrate with each milepost crossed.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information about gaining an online degree, visit

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Paralegal Degree Online Is As Prestigious As Regular Degrees

Many people have goals in the paralegal profession, and if they want a good education in the same field before starting off, then a good paralegal degree online will be a great option. Not only does it have all the material that is required to study, it also offers flexible schemes. Right from payment methods to study hours, it will all be flexible.

This is ideal for all those who want an entry-level education for the legal profession. There will be no need to worry about material, as there will be a lot of excellent material that will help them more than it is needed. Not only will it help the individual understand the entire legal system, but also a paralegal degree will also help increase the knowledge of the legal profession.

This paralegal degree can be availed in almost twelve months, as they will offer flexible schedules. They will however cover what has to be done for four years, and that is why this is much sought after. Not only can a student learn from the comfort of the home, all the options are flexible including study hours and exams.

Competencies in specialized areas of law can be gained, along with research and analytical skills. This is what is needed for a paralegal, and this would be ideal for any new person in this field. Right from document supervision to litigation preparation, everything will be covered. All career goals in the profession of law can be met with this degree.

There will also options to pay the fees in installments without any interest. Anyone from the world can enroll in these online paralegal degrees, as long as it is their choice. The material may of course differ from country to country, so the courses should be chosen accordingly. Complete aspects of the legal profession can be learned from this degree.

Compare the best paralegal degree online. Visit Ricky's online paralegal courses site for more information.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How Are Online MBA Programs Different From Traditional MBA Programs?

MBA programs are a popular choice for many mid-career professionals who want to earn a credential in management level to prepare for their career advancement. Nowadays, with the available of online education programs, you have a choice to earn your MBA degree from traditional MBA program offered by a campus-based university or through an online MBA program. What are the differences between the online and traditional campus-based type of MBA programs? Knowing the basics will help you to decide whether or not these programs are right for you.

In term of educational goal, both online learning and traditional MBA programs general share the same goal of preparing the students for many fields, functions, and industries to help them progress toward a specific career goal. Both online and traditional MBA can be considered equally difficult and have a similar type of curriculum. Both MBA learning types are able to help you achieve your career goal, but instead of spending hours in class as in traditional MBA program, online MBA students are expected to dedicate their time to study independently.

Traditional MBA program will have a time table which you need to follow to attend the classes on time. If you decide to pursue your degree through campus-based MBA program and at the same time maintaining your current employment, you may need to adjust your working schedule to fit the time table of your MBA courses. Most working individuals who sign up for traditional MBA program will normally enroll into evening classes or time after work. They also need to commute to and from school and they might miss the classes if they need to stay after work due to important assignment or project. For those working individuals who are frequently travel on job assignment, they may have difficulties to fit their time to the fixed time table of the MBA courses.

Online MBA programs solve the above problems with the features of flexibility, self-pace and convenient of attending classes from any location as long as the location has internet connection for the student to login into the online classes. The online students who pursue their MBA online can attend the classes, downloading their training materials and assignments, submitting their courses from their comfort location through internet connection. The flexibility time tables of online learning allow students to plan their own study time based on their learning pace and convenient schedule. The features best fit for most working individuals who have busy working schedule. The frequent travelers are able to take advantages of studying anywhere and at anytime with online MBA program.

While traditional MBA courses require you to attend the physical lectures and work with your physical peers on group assignments, online curriculum generally consist of lectures, reading, assignments which are all in text, multimedia and audio format which you need to login to the school's online system to view or download the materials. Most of time you are using online channels such as online discussion board, online chatting, email and sometime phone calls to communicate with the lecturers and online classmates.

In general, online MBA and traditional MBA programs are similar in term of curriculums but different in term of the learning media. Online MBA programs require the students to be more self-motivation and self-discipline to make progress to complete on their degree program.

Amelia Turner, an educational article writer for You can find more details information and free resources about Online MBA degrees, financial aids and other accredited online education programs that can help you to make decision to earn your degree online.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Basic Information on Online Associate Degree Programs

Online associate degree programs are something to think about. The right program can lead you to the company of your dreams or a position that you have always aspired for. There are however, some crucial points that you must know about online associate programs before you can decide to get into one.

Fact 1: Associate programs provide so many great choices.

There are various reasons why people decide to take associate degrees. For some, this may be more affordable than a four-year bachelor's degree program. A full time associate program can take as little as two years to finish. Others specifically choose to take this option so they can quickly get entry level work after completion. An associate program can also be a good way to test your interest and capacity for a field before you decide to transfer to a bachelor's degree program. Associate courses are either intended for entry level occupations or for transfer to a full four year program.

The different areas that associate program graduates can work in are numerous. You can choose a work area related to your degree. These may include business, management, arts, technology, marketing and health.

Fact 2: Online schools aren't any less great than schools with campuses.

It is no secret that online associate degree programs were once belittled. The truth is that there are still some people who look down on graduates of online programs. It is a typical misconception that online graduates miss out on some crucial aspects of learning available only to classroom students. This negative idea is probably due to actual scam schools and diploma mills that really aren't worth anything. There are however, genuine online programs that are really legitimate.

In order to get a degree that will be respected by others, you need to get into a reputable school. Online schools that are of good standing have academic programs that have been thoroughly reviewed and accredited by regional education boards. Accreditation is an assurance that you are under a useful, comprehensive and meaningful program.

Fact 3: Online associate programs aren't easier than campus programs.

It would be a mistake on your part to think that online students have things easy. Online associate programs are equally as demanding as courses taken in classrooms. For some people, an online course may even be more challenging. A number of online programs may involve just a little bit more research and reading. Other online courses have the same reading, research and paper requirements as their classroom course counterparts.

Fact4: Much of your potential to succeed depends on your inner qualities.

The hardest part about completing an online course is pushing yourself. If you are not naturally motivated, you may have to exert greater effort to study and complete your requirements. This is especially since many online programs have flexible schedules. Online education truly requires a lot of inner determination and discipline to complete. If you want to succeed in a program, you have to put some effort in it.

Online associate degree programs are truly worth a shot. Check the details of associate degrees first before enrolling in a program.

Find out how you can get degree online. Find the top online associate degree programs now

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Get Your Online College Degrees From the Comfort of Your Own Home

If a college degree is something that you desire but you don't think you have the time in your day to get one, you may want to consider the benefits of online college degrees. As their name indicates, online degrees are degrees that you can complete from the comfort of your own home using the World Wide Web. All lessons are given online, work is handed out and turned in via the web and tests are given and completed in an online environment as well. It sounds easy, like something that should be a whiz to complete but in reality things are not always that way. Online courses are for a certain type of person with a certain level of self management and time management skills. Those who have a tendency to let time get away from them and are easily distracted from their goals are not likely candidates for online college degree programs.

Be In it to Win It

One of the things to keep in mind before enrolling in any online college degree programs is that you should be certain in your degree before you enroll. These degree programs don't normally offer much room for the transfer of credits so if you plan on starting a course of study it is important that you finish it. If you are thinking about going online to complete a college degree of some sort be prepared to see it all the way through until the end. One must prepare for such a thing not only in their schedules and brains, but in their finances as well so take everything into consideration and be sure that it is what you want to do before you start paying for classes.

Be Sure of Your Choice

One of the things you want to be sure to look into before you enroll into any of the programs for online college degrees that you come across is to make sure that these institutions are accredited. There is nothing worse than paying to get a degree just to find out that nobody considers it a valuable asset because of the choice in institutions that you made. When you sign up for classes the first thing you should do is check the reputation of the school and their accreditation.

Online college degrees are just one way to go about getting the education that you need, but it is a great one. If you have kids, a job, a social life or have just been away from school for so long that you don't know how you would fit it into your schedule, degree options that are web-based are one of the best options that you will have open to you.

You can get more in-depth information about finding the best colleges in USA as well as online accredited degrees by checking out the links

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Advancing Your Career with an Online Graduate Degree

There are multiple ways to get ahead in your career field. Many professionals choose to earn a graduate degree online to further their income potential. With today's technology and use of the internet, earning a graduate degree may not be as difficult as you may have thought. If you hold Bachelor's degree already, an advanced degree is easier than ever to achieve with the many options available to you. With online graduate degree programs, students are easily obtaining their MBA, MS, M.Ed and MA degrees without having to sacrifice precious time and resources away from work and family.

Often time, students enter the workforce after obtaining their undergraduate degrees, leaving little time for graduate studies. Let's face it-after working hard all day, it is difficult to devote time and energy to writing a thesis or reading a 600-page advanced level textbook.

As if these hurdles weren't difficult enough, graduate programs have always been notoriously time-consuming, involving extensive time in the library, researching, writing and consulting with faculty mentors regarding research proposals and projects.

Many graduate programs from traditional universities are highly competitive and involve a full-time commitment, making it difficult for nontraditional students with full-time jobs to earn an advanced degree in that setting. If a student has family obligations as well-which is often the case-obtaining a graduate degree could seem to be an impossible dream. In addition, traditional university graduate programs are more costly than undergraduate programs, making the commitment of earning an advanced degree not only time consuming, but costly as well.

Yet, it is becoming a growing trend for companies to require MBA degrees for many upper-level positions, forcing employees to either continue their education or accept the fact that they have hit the "ceiling" within their company as far as their salary and position is concerned. Even jobs that do not require an advanced degree often offer a higher salary for the same position if the employee has a graduate degree, making going back to school an attractive prospect, despite the inconvenience of it.

For these reasons and more, online graduate degree programs are increasing in popularity as a convenient, inexpensive way to earn an advanced degree. Working adults are finding that they can earn their graduate degree at their own pace, and without having to sacrifice their full-time jobs and time with their family. Most of the online degree programs offer flexible payment plans as well, allowing students convenient options of paying in addition to convenient options for studying. Students of online degree programs can receive the same individualized attention given to students at traditional universities. Professors at online programs are available by phone or email, and incorporate new technology in the learning process to make a student's experience as educational as possible.

Online graduate degrees aren't limited to Masters programs-some colleges also offer Doctorates in limited fields. While these programs aren't as common as Master's programs, they are available, and a viable option for students wishing to earn a Ph.D. without enrolling in a traditional university.

Some online Master's degree and Doctoral programs are run in conjunction with traditional universities, allowing students to complete their graduate work in a combination of online and on-site studies.

If you are a nontraditional student wishing to advance your career to the next level, online graduate programs might be the best option for you. Their convenience and cost-effective approach can mean the difference between attaining your graduate degree and only dreaming about it.

by Tonya Thompson - a directory of accredited online colleges, universities and campus based institutions nationwide.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Earn a Bachelors Degree Online

Online degree programs have grown in popularity over the years for many reasons that include the creation of accredited online colleges, traditional colleges and universities offering online courses, and increased interest by those already in the workforce who want to further their careers by earning a degree while they work.

According to the Postsecondary Education Factbook 2006, published yearly by education consulting and marketing firm Edventures, in 2006 over $10 billion dollars was spent in online education by those pursuing a degree. This is an increase from $2.5 billion spent in 2004. But why are online degree programs so popular and why should you consider enrolling in one when going back to school?

Save Time by Taking Courses Online
For many students, returning to school to earn a bachelors degree means taking time off from work, spending less time with family, and being around younger students. It's these factors that deter some students from returning to school.

But by enrolling in an online degree program, students will be able to take courses from home without having to spend time driving to the college or university, paying for childcare or sitting in a classroom filled with learners they may not have anything in common with. With a bachelor degree online, students can still pursue their educational goals without disturbing their lives in the process.

Online bachelor degree programs often involve listening to lectures, reading lecture notes from instructors or participating in live chat with other students and instructors. Students will still be responsible for turning in all assignments and tests like traditional students, but they will not have to spend as much time in the classroom.

Convenience of Online Courses
If you want to continue working while earning a bachelors degree, earning your degree online is more convenient than traditional classroom courses in several ways. First, you have the ability to only take as many courses as you can handle each semester. Second, since you won't have to spend time in a classroom, you will have more time to study or focus on other areas in your life. Third, you will be given a syllabus at the beginning of each course that outlines how the course will be taught. This will include due dates for all assignments, tests and projects so you can budget your time.

Online Education Costs Lower
Depending on the program you enroll in, earning an online bachelor degree may cost less than attending a traditional university program. Online colleges have lower overhead because they don't provide housing or classroom space and do not support extra-curricular activities such as sports, music or theater programs. When you enroll in an online degree program, the cost of tuition, additional supplies or materials, and fees for IT support are usually all you will be required to pay.

Greater Acceptance of Online Degree Programs
According to the report, Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006, published by The Sloan Consortium, in 2003, only 57% of academic leaders thought students who earned their degree online received the same or better education than those attending traditional programs. By 2006, that number rose to 62%. This means that online education programs are becoming more accepted by educators and employers as each year passes.

Career Advancement
Earning an online BS degree can help your career in many ways. Not only will you be qualified for career advancement, many employers reward those who take the initiative to further their education, with bonuses and higher pay.

Online bachelor degrees are available in many fields. Through careful research, you can find an online program that suits your needs.

Mary Jackson is a contributor for where you find useful information on distance learning colleges, accredited degrees online and links to accredited online colleges. See more related information on online bachelor's degrees and top online colleges that offers online bachelor's degree programs

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Looking to Get Ahead? Try an Online Master's Degree or MBA Program

Thinking about earning your master's degree online? There are many benefits associated with having a graduate degree. Earning a masters of science, arts or one of the coveted master of business administration degrees could put you in a better place professionally and financially. If you are a working professional or have a family, you have a lot to consider but an online masters degree may help ease the burden of a busy life. Let's talk about the advantages of earning an online Master's or MBA degree first.

Looking at figures and income projections for various masters degree credentialed worker:

- Individuals with a master's degree average $11,300 more a year than bachelor's degree holders.

- The net present value of a master's degree versus a bachelor's degree is $216,000.

- The future value (over 40 years) of a master's degree versus a bachelor's degree is $1,520,900. (Certain professional and MBA degrees will yield more)

If you choose to pursue an online masters degree program you will be building on the knowledge base you already have while adding skills, credentials and perhaps accomplishing a personal milestone.

Online Graduate Degrees

The availability of online masters degree programs are plentiful. Make sure the schools and programs are accredited! It is important to note that:

- The quality of education from accredited online colleges is the same as their on-campus counterparts.

- Most colleges and universities do not indicate on graduate certificates or transcripts whether a course or program was earned on-campus or online.

- Online courses operate with the same syllabi and deliver the same end product as on-campus courses.

- A survey of 2,500 online students and professors indicated that online courses were at least as rigorous as, and many times more rigorous than, traditional face-to-face courses.

- Preference for one setting over the other will depend on your life circumstances and whether or not you are able to move or find a graduate program nearby that offers exactly what you're looking for.

- Diplomas from accredited online programs are honored by employers, licensing agencies and certification boards. Note: Make sure the schools you are interested in are accredited. There are many non-accredited master's programs cropping up, particularly online MBA programs. Check with the U.S. Department of Education to make sure the school is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency.)

Graduate studies are characteristically more specialized and intense in focus than your typical undergraduate programs. It is very important to choose the program that most closely matches your personal goals and area of desired expertise. Take some time to consider the types of graduate programs available.

Master's Degree Programs - What's available online?

Master of Arts (M.A) and Master of Science (M.S):

Master's degree programs are available online and in hundreds of subject areas. A master's degree will give you continued depth and expertise in an area, and open up doors for higher paying jobs. Master's level programs are usually 30 to 60 credit hours long, depending on the discipline or profession. Correspondingly, it will take from 1-4 years to complete. The work is more focused within a specialty area and research of some sort is ordinarily involved. Sometimes a master's level degree will be included within a doctoral program, but most times a master's degree is completed independently of a doctoral degree. Three popular types of master's programs are listed here.

Master of Education (M.Ed.):

Online graduate degrees in education are becoming a popular option for teachers already in the profession seeking to further develop their skills and move to a higher salary bracket. A M.Ed. or M.S. in Education usually requires the completion of 36 -48 credit hours. Some programs will accept a limited amount of transfer credits. Those graduating from 4-year colleges who go directly to a master's degree program enter the working world equipped with an advanced degree. Others may want to have a few years of on the job experience first. Every state has its own licensing and certification requirements for teachers, so be diligent and check with your state for specific course requirements.

Master Of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.):

An advanced nursing degree that allows a registered nurse to become certified in a clinical specialty or as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesiologist, or nurse midwife. The pay scale for this degree is substantially higher than the BSN, and prospects for advancement are very good.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.):

An M.B.A degree is an advanced degree in business management and is a highly valuable asset to the person who desires a leadership role in the business world, in higher education or in industry. M.B.A. programs do an excellent job of preparing professionals for the top paying jobs that will be available to them. Core topics in any type of M.B.A. program will include economics, accounting, marketing, quantitative analysis, and organizational management and psychology. It may be worthwhile to consider one of these specialized M.B.A. programs, as income and level of position will likely be higher than a generic business M.B.A.. Some options are: Executive MBA for those with substantial management experience who want to obtain higher, top paying positions.

MBA in IT Management d esigned for the experienced IT professional seeking mid- to upper-level positions in various fields.

MBA in International Business for those interested in global issues and economy.

MBA in Project Management designed for mid- to upper-level management positions in industry and business.

MBA in Organizational Psychology prepares you for positions in business and higher education.

MBA in Health Care Management - an extremely valuable degree in health care with sub-specialties within this degree type.

MBA in Human Resources designed to prepare you for mid- to upper level human resource positions.

MBA in Marketing designed for those whose specialty is specific to sales, marketing advertising.

MBA in Accounting and Finance for those looking to advance in the world of banking, investing and finance, among other settings. You will need to do some research and thinking about your own background and goals to make sure you find the M.B.A. program that will get you where you want to go.

Cost & Financing

Cost of online master's degree programs (MA and MS degrees) vary, but average about $22,000. An MBA varies more widely, but averages around $30,000. Financing options for accredited online master's programs are the same as accredited on-campus programs and include:

- Federal Financial Aid Programs

- Scholarships and private financing

- Employer reimbursement

Request Information from online schools you are interested in to obtain financial aid information specific to each school. You will need to fill out a Graduate FAFSA form.

What's next? You have some homework to do! If you are serious about getting an online master's degree, we can help. Good luck!

By Laurie Jerome-Pertilla - Directory of accredited online colleges, universities and campus based schools nationwide.