Distance Learning Modernizes an Old Concept

  • Added:
    Jun 30, 2014
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Distance Learning Modernizes an Old Concept Photo by Jason White

The idea of attending class without physically attending class isn't a new concept. In fact, it dates back almost 300 years when the Boston Gazette ran an ad by a teacher named Caleb Philips who was looking for students wanting to learn a “new method of short hand” with lessons to be sent to them on a weekly basis.

Today, Distance Learning, as it is known, allows students to obtain a post-secondary education without ever setting foot in a class. It is offered by a number of reputable college and universities. In fact, the number of schools facilitating this format continues to grow as educators realize that more and more students wish to complete their studies in their own time, in their own space and at their own pace.

In Toronto, the province's first community college was established back in 1966. Centennial College not only offers an array of full-time programs but also part-time offerings that students complete by attending classes during the evenings and weekends. However, for those whose schedule doesn't permit them to physically attend classes, there are Print-Based Correspondence and Online class options.

In total, there are six programs that students can take through the Print option, which sees materials mailed directly to a student's home. These courses are typically completed during a six-month period and are made up of lessons, written assignments, exams and the various tools for success. Students can communicate with their instructor by email, phone or regular mail.

Here are this option's programs:

  • Business Management – Entrepreneurial: This program has been designed to meet the needs of students seeking a broad knowledge of business administration and specializing in the area of entrepreneurial studies.
  • Business Management – International: This undertaking offers students a broad knowledge of business administration and specialization in the area of international studies.
  • Business Management – Marketing: Topics covered in this certificate include product management, product pricing, distribution strategies, promotion strategies, advertising, sales promotions, publicity, media and creative execution.
  • Cosmetics by Correspondence: Graduates include cosmeticians, beauty advisors, estheticians, direct sales consultants, store managers, sales representatives, company trainers and college students.
  • Ophthalmic Medical Personnel: A first-of-its-kind in Canada program, this offering enables you to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to function as an ophthalmic assistant, providing quality care under the supervision of a registered eye care practitioner.
  • Smart Serve Certificate: This program is offered in association with Smart Serve Ontario and is recognized by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Smart Serve is the responsible beverage service-training program now required by many hospitality organizations.

Meanwhile, through the online option, students “attend” courses in a virtual classroom to which they have 24-hour access. This allows students to study anywhere they have access to the Internet, at anytime. They get a sense of a classroom through email communication with their instructor and fellow students, participation in discussion boards and forums, and digital assignments. This option includes about 30 programs, among which are: Legal Office Assistant, Office Bookkeeping, Translation in the Workplace – English to French, Organizational Dynamics and Leadership, Fundraising, Business Writing and more.

Author's Profile

Jason wrote this article in which he describes how students whose schedule doesn't permit them to attend on-campus classes can still obtain a post-secondary education through distance learning programs.

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