Exploring the Alternative to Traditional Higher Education

Jan 11, 2012 by Tom Dellner

We in online higher education are proud of the alternative to traditional, brick-and-mortar institutions that we’ve worked so hard to establish. At CalSouthern, we’re especially proud of the proprietary distance learning methodology that we’ve refined over the 33 years since our university’s inception.

Woman online learningMost people understand the convenience of online learning. Students are able to study at their own pace and on their own schedules, so that they can work toward their educational, personal, and professional goals without compromising their work and family lives.

However, at CalSouthern, online learning is about far more than convenience. We think it’s simply a better way to learn. There’s no sitting through lecture upon lecture as a professor works through a syllabus he or she may have designed years prior, all subject to class cancellations and filibustering classmates.

At CalSouthern, the material is delivered one-hundred percent online. It’s designed by subject matter experts, often using the same books you’d find at any traditional university. It’s constantly updated to reflect developments in the field or critical changes in market conditions. You work through the material at your own pace, guided by a faculty mentor who’s not only a gifted educator, but who’s also an experienced practitioner in the field. He or she can answer your questions, help you apply the material to real-world scenarios, and tailor their feedback to correspond to your particular interests and life experience.

It’s a fantastic way to learn. It makes the material come to life, it makes it relevant, and it makes it stick. In fact, a recent U.S. Department of Education Report (“Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies”) finds that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction.

But there’s an equally important point of differentiation between traditional higher education and CalSouthern: cost. CalSouthern was founded upon the ideal of providing an education of indisputably high quality at an affordable price. Our undergraduate tuition is just $6,000 per year (24 credits). Our post-graduate programs are also affordable—the MBA program costs less than $12,000 in total tuition, the law program is just $295 per credit, and our doctoral degrees are less than $20,000 in total tuition. And once you become a student at CalSouthern, your tuition is locked in and will never be increased as long as you remain enrolled.

We probably don’t need to tell you that things don’t work that way at brick-and-mortar universities. A recent article from inflationdata.com—aptly titled Sky Rocketing College Costs—reports that college tuition has increased 498.31 percent since 1986. Think about that for a minute: it’s gone up nearly 500 percent in about 25 years. That’s well over 2.5 times the rate of inflation.

Online newspaper The Daily just released a study that brings all this into sharper focus, and it’s not a pretty sight. A January 9, 2012 article titled “Future Shock” projects the cost of college education for the class of 2034—the graduating class for a child born this year. If your newborn attends an average-priced public school, it will cost approximately $123,000. The average private institution? $288,000 for four years. If your baby is Ivy League material or wishes to attend a similarly priced college, it’ll run you $422,320. But get this—these figures are inflation-adjusted and are in 2011 dollars. The mind boggles at what the actual figure might be.

We urge you to learn more about CalSouthern. We offer more than convenience. We offer more than affordability. We offer an alternative to a traditional higher education model that is, in several important aspects, outmoded. And we do so in a supportive environment and with faculty, administration, and staff who assess their performance by your satisfaction and success.

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