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网络学位课程鱼龙混杂,怎么选?

2014-06-25    来源:向Anne提问    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

如今,网络学位课程层出不穷,其中既有盈利性机构提供的远程教学,也有传统高校提供的在线课程,更有皮包公司设下的教育陷阱。入学之前的甄别工作非常重要。

Dear Annie:I quit school a few years ago before finishing a bachelor's degree in business, because of financial pressures, but so far I've managed to work my way up through several promotions at my current company. However, my boss just told me she wants to recommend me for another step up the ladder, but positions at that level require a college degree. So I'm considering going back to school, which I always meant to do anyway.
亲爱的安妮:我在几年前迫于财务压力,没有拿到商业学士学位就退学了。如今,我已经通过努力在现在的公司获得了数次升职。但是,我老板刚刚告诉我,她想推荐我更上一个台阶,但这些水平的职位都要求有大学学历。因此,我正在考虑重返校园,这也是我一直想做的事情。

The thing is, with my work schedule, I'm going to need a lot of flexibility, so I'd like to earn my bachelor's online. But do employers generally view online degrees as on par with the in-person kind? Also, do you (or your readers) have any advice on how to choose the right program? —Joe College
问题是由于我工作的原因,我需要很大的灵活性,因此我想通在线学习获得我的学士学位。但通常情况下,雇主会将网络教育获得的学位和面授教育学位一视同仁吗?此外,你(或者你的读者)对于选择合适的课程有什么建议?——乔•大学

Dear J.C.:You don't mention whether you've already tried Googling, say, "online degree programs," but, if so, you've no doubt been bombarded with advertising from for-profit schools. The University of Phoenix alone spends over $200 million a year on television and Internet pitches, according to an estimate from Madison Avenue trade paper Ad Age. Nothing wrong with advertising, of course, but in some respects it does make the process of choosing the right online school more difficult.
亲爱的乔大学:你没有提到你是否已经尝试过用“网络学位课程”作为关键词在谷歌上进行过搜索,如果答案是肯定的,相信你已经看到了营利性学校铺天盖地的广告。根据广告行业媒体《广告时代》 (Ad Age)的一项估算,仅凤凰城大学(University of Phoenix)一家就每年花费2亿美元用于电视和互联网推广。广告推广当然没有错,但从某种程度上,这使得要筛选合适的网络学校变得更困难了。

Here's why: more than 7,000 U.S. colleges and universities now offer long-distance degree programs -- and about 85% of those are traditional brick-and-mortar schools that have expanded into cyberspace over the past few years. Yet traditional colleges don't have the marketing budgets that the huge for-profit schools have. So unless you actively seek out brick-and-mortar schools' online offerings, you may never know they exist.
原因是如今已有7,000多所美国大学提供远程学位教育,而且过去几年,约85%的传统实体大学已扩张进入了网络教育领域。但是传统大学没有那些追求利润学校所具备的市场营销预算。因此,除非积极寻找那些实体学校的网络教育课程,否则可能永远都会不知道它们的存在。

"Prospective students should be wary of Internet 'guides' to online education that get paid to promote for-profit schools," says Vicky Phillips. "It's called pay-per-lead advertising, and it means the 'guide' gets X dollars for each person it steers to a for-profit university." Traditional colleges don't have such deep pockets, so thousands of them are unlikely to turn up in such directories at all.
“预备入学的学生应当对互联网上的网络课程指南保持警惕,有些指南是拿了钱为营利性学校做广告,”维克•菲利普斯表示。“这就是所谓的‘按引导付费广告(PPL广告)’,每引导一个人到营利性大学就能获得一定数量的美元。”传统大学没这么多钱,因此,几千所传统大学根本不可能出现在这样的目录中。

"Not only that, but the for-profit schools have tens of thousands of students, while the online bachelor's-in-business program at a traditional university can only accept, say, 30 at a time," she adds. "So even if traditional colleges could afford to pay for online leads, it wouldn't make sense for them to do so. They're operating on an entirely different scale."
“不仅如此,营利性大学拥有数以万计的学生,而传统大学的商业本科网络课程一次能接收的学生有限,比方说30名,”她补充说。“因此,即便传统大学能负担PPL广告的费用,这么做对它们也没有意义。它们的经营规模完全不同。”

Phillips has been researching and comparing online degree programs for 20 years, which is about as long as they've existed. She runs a consumer-information web site calledGetEducated.com that you might want to check out. The site includes a comparison tool that lets you evaluate and rank schools using 12 different filters. These include type of specialization in your major (business with a minor in finance, for instance); non-profit versus for-profit; secular versus religious (many Christian colleges now offer long-distance learning); and whether the school's programs are 100% online or "hybrids," meaning you'll have to show up in person several times per semester.
菲利普斯在研究和比较网络学位课程方面拥有20年的经验,年限几乎与网络学位课程开始出现的年头相当。她经营着一家消费者信息网站GetEducated.com的,你没准想去看一看。网站提供比较工具,可以用12个不同的筛选条件对学校进行评估和排名。这些筛选条件包括,所学的专业(比如,商业专业,辅修金融);非营利相对于营利;非宗教相对于宗教(很多基督教大学现在提供远程教育);以及学校的课程是完全网络授课,还是“面授与网络授课相结合”(即每个学期必须到校几次)。

Another filter is price. "An online bachelor's degree can cost anywhere from $16,000 to $122,000," Phillips notes. "They are definitely not all alike." GetEducated.com also offers reputation scores based on reviews by current and past students.
另外一个筛选条件是价格。“网络本科课程的价格从16,000美元到122,000万美元不等,”菲利普斯指出。“它们肯定有区别。”GetEducated.com同时还根据在读学生和过去学生的点评提供信誉评分。

In general, Phillips believes online education has gained wide acceptance among employers. "People do worry that companies won't recognize an online degree as equal to the in-person kind," she says. "But our research shows that job interviewers have no problem with it -- as long as they see two things."
菲利普斯相信,总体而言,网络课程已经在雇主方面获得了广泛认可。“人们的确担心,公司可能不认为网络教育学位与面授教育相当,”她说。“但我们的研究显示,就业面试官对此没有任何问题——他们只看两个东西。”

First is accreditation by a legitimate accrediting agency -- which can be tricky, since some for-profit schools claim to be accredited by phony agencies they've invented themselves. To make sure any program you're considering is genuinely accredited, check with the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education.
首先,要拥有合法认证机构授予的资质——这可能有点难,因为有些营利性学校自称拥有资质,而资质授予方可能是它们自己捏造的一些虚假机构。为了确保你正在考虑的课程确实是由合格、有资质的学校提供,可以向美国高等教育鉴定委员会(Council on Higher Education Accreditation)或美国教育部(U.S. Department of Education)查询。

Second, Phillips recommends you concentrate your search on long-distance degree programs offered by state universities or private brick-and-mortar schools that are likely to be familiar to employers in your state or region, or that have a particularly solid reputation in your industry. "Whatever reputation a school has will carry over to its online-degree programs," she notes. "So a 'brand name' an employer recognizes and respects will matter a lot more than whether you earned the degree online or in person."
其次,菲利普斯建议,应当将搜索的重点放在你所在的州、或地区雇主熟悉的州立大学或私立实体大学提供的远程教育课程,或者是那些在你所在的行业有特别良好声誉的大学。“无论学校有什么样的名声,它都会延伸到网络课程上,”她指出。“因此,雇主认可的‘名牌’远比学位是通过网络教学、还是面授教学获得的这个问题更为重要。”

Talkback:If you've earned a college degree online, how did you choose which program? If you're an employer, would you look askance at a job candidate's online sheepskin? Leave a comment below.
反馈:如果你已经获得了网络教育学位,你是如何选择课程的?如果你是雇主,你会怀疑求职者的网络教育证书吗?欢迎发表评论。(向Anne提问)



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