College for America: Recent Changes in American Higher Education Create New Opportunities for You

Barry Lenson

College for AmericaA few decades ago, the word “college” meant pretty much one thing for students who were attending college in America. If you were a born-and-bred American student, you graduated high school and then headed off to live on a college campus and complete your degree in four years. Even if you were a non-U.S. student who wanted to earn a degree at an American college or university, you followed pretty much the same path as well. You applied for a student visa and came to America to complete your college degree in four years.

Today, there are many other options.  Here are just a few of the trends that have changed what it means to go to college in America today . . .

  • More and more working adults have gone back to complete college, earn advanced degrees, or obtain the specific training they need to advance their careers.
  • Working parents have beaten a path to American colleges too. Thanks to the availability of evening and online courses, they have been completing college. Those “unusual” students have become mainstream today.
  • Veterans and current members of the U.S. military are accessing college courses in new ways. Thanks to the availability of online classes, they are going to college from remote locations around the world and continuing their studies after they have returned to U.S. shores.
  • Non-U.S. students are beginning their college educations at American colleges, thanks to the availability of online courses and degree programs that they can start without first moving to the U.S.

There’s no doubt that all those individuals are now sharing in the rich and diverse experience that can be called, “College for America.”

But as the variety of students has increased, the number of educational options has increased for them too. Here are some of the options that have been on the rise over the last few decades . . .

  • Community colleges across America – even though they have encountered budgetary problems and cutbacks over the last 18 months – stepped up to the plate and offered a wider variety of college courses too many working students, working parents, and other “alternative” students too.
  • MOOCs - Massive Online Open Courses - are gaining steam fast. More and more major American colleges and universities now offer them, and more are coming on board. Even though it is not yet possible to earn a degree by taking MOOC courses alone, they offer enrichment and knowledge to many of today’s students.
  • StraighterLine has broken new ground by offering college courses online and helping students transfer the credits they have earned to thousands of American colleges and universities. Plus, StraighterLine’s agreements with an excellent group of Partner Colleges is helping students of all kinds – members of the U.S. military, non-U.S. students, working parents, and others – complete their college degrees in new and flexible ways.

So, which of these choices will be your partner in your own College for America program of education? The choice is up to you, so be sure to explore your options and select the one that best helps you reach your educational and professional goals.

But the good news is, you have more educational options today than you might have at any time in the past.

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