The New "Back To School"

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Check out these 4 hot reasons that college is cooler than ever!

By Chris Kyle

Professors may still wear tweed, but that's about the only constant in college these days.

In fact, many students are finding that college today is a more accessible, user-friendly experience than even just a few years ago.

That's good news, since earning a degree could help improve your prospects for employment or potentially open up new opportunities in your current filed.

If you're contemplating a return to school and don't know what to expect, read on for four things that have changed the college experience - for the better!

#1 - Technology-Enhanced Education

In recent years, the convenience and flexibility of online education has brought college to countless people who otherwise didn't have the time or means to earn a degree.

Schools like Aspen University Online and the University of Phoenix have been offering online degrees since the 1980s. You can find online degree programs in almost any discipline including:

Business (including MBA programs)
Health Care
Nursing
Legal
Criminal Justice
Digital Arts and Design

Technology is enhancing the educational experience for today's college students in many ways:

  • Research sites and education apps often make doing homework a whole lot easier, whether you're studying nursing or paralegal studies, you'll likely find a specific set of tools that you use regularly.
  • Social media allows students to interact with each other and with professors - in real time. You can even find reviews of individual professors by checking sites like ratemyprofessors.com.
  • Many professors are using social media to enhance assignments and class discussions. Some professors even encourage students to tweet during class!

Find online degree programs now.

#2 - Accelerated Degree Programs

As part of a growing trend to curb costs and get students into the workforce sooner, the idea that it takes four years to earn a bachelor's degree and two years to earn an associate's degree is becoming a thing of the past.

Through a program that launched in 2009, Hartwick College students in upstate New York can take 40 credits per year, instead of the usual 30, and graduate with a bachelor's degree in just three years. The accelerated degree program helps students save time - plus $30,000 in tuition, and over $9,000 for room and board.

Some of the most common subject areas with accelerated degree programs are:

Business
Health Care
Paralegal Studies

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College has shortened the general time needed to earn an associate's degree to 18 months by adding 10 minutes per class and stretching semesters from 14 to 16 weeks.

Want to go back to school? Search for schools near you or online now!

#3 - Hot Hybrid MBA Programs

Mixing heavy online instruction with limited face-to-face instruction is all the rage these days in business school. Think of if it as old school meets new school. For many busy professionals, it could allow them to earn their MBA while not giving up their day job.

  • Babson College's Fast Track MBA program blends campus learning with what's primarily online instruction, using everything from Skype and old-fashioned conference calls to live streaming video lectures.
  • California Miramar University offers a hybrid MBA program in San Diego, where students take classes one night per week and the rest is online.

You'll likely find MBA programs in hot business topics like:

Finance
Accounting
Human Resources
Marketing

Find an online or campus-based MBA degree program now.

#4 - No More Long Lines

Long gone are the days of standing in line to register for classes and buy books.

Most schools have moved class registration and grading online, along with their campus bookstores. Plus, sites like Chegg.com allow you to rent books on the cheap, and etextbooks and lightweight laptops are making bulky backpacks a thing of the past.

All of these improvements could help students spend more time on what matters most: getting a good education.

If you are thinking of getting a degree, there is no time like the present. The new and improved college experience can lead to a new you!

Learn more about local and online schools!

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