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The 21st Century Educational Experience

(ARA) – Going to college means different things to different people. For some, it’s a post high school ritual that is the start of adulthood. For others, it’s a way to advance their current career while balancing work and life commitments. Due to the demand for a higher education system that is flexible for all types of students, post-secondary education in the 21st century offers more options than ever before.

“The educational system is continuously evolving,” comments Carlos Cashman of CourseAdvisor. “Today’s students are highly diverse in what they need. Colleges and universities are offering more program options than ever to fit the changing face of the American student.”

For some, a brick-and-mortar school is the foundation of the college experience. But more and more students are finding that online education is more affordable and flexible. With millions of adults currently pursuing degrees online, school administrators are realizing that this trend is only going to increase.

If you have been thinking of attending college, it’s important to find what works best for your personal situation. By visiting, you can search a variety of educational resources and work with the “Education Wizard,” an online tool that helps students learn more about what they are looking for and what programs would be best for them.

Many students will find that an online education is the best option, but they don’t know much about how it works. For most students, e-learning is more convenient, flexible, and often more satisfying than going to school in a traditional campus setting. So how does an online education work?

Asynchronous Classes
Some online education programs are asynchronous. This means the instructor’s teaching and the students’ assignment completion do not happen simultaneously. Asynchronous online programs are usually the most flexible, allowing students to work on assignments with as much time as they need and on their own schedule, whether before breakfast, after the kids are in bed, or some time in between.

Synchronous Classes
Online programs can also be synchronous, with the instructor and students all "tuned in" to the class at the same time. Synchronous e-learning programs provide the benefit of interacting as a group the way a campus class would, but also the benefit of including students (or a teacher) who cannot physically be on site. Synchronous e-learning is great for classes that include international students, or for students who are just too far away to commute to school.

Hybrid Programs
Online learning also includes blended or hybrid programs. Blended classes combine online coursework with some on-campus, in-person class time, giving students the advantages of both learning environments. A blended program can be effective for a class that requires some, but not 100 percent, in-person interaction among students or with the instructor. Medical assistant career training is one that might be offered in a blended format, combining some online study of medical billing and coding, for example, with on-campus training in taking patients’ blood pressure and other diagnostics.

“An online degree can be just as valuable as one from a campus program – it depends on the quality of the offering, the institution and the program, and over time we’ll see more and more acceptance of these ‘non-traditional’ type degrees,” comments Cashman. “The most important thing is for students to choose the method of education that is right for them. With all the educational options of the 21st century, there’s a program that can fit any lifestyle.”

To start learning more about what career path is right for you, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent