In 2007-08, as many as 20 percent of undergraduate students and 22 percent of post-baccalaureate students took at least one distance education course, as per the US Department of Education. Since then, that number has only grown! There are many advantages offered by distance education, including flexibility and affordability. Those who need to keep working or are looking after their families may not be able to attend the fixed classes on campus or pay the often exorbitant tuition and fees. In such cases, distance education is a great opportunity to learn at your own pace from a convenient location. Programs may be offered partially or completely online, depending on the field of study, the type of qualification, and the education provider.
Aspiring veterinarians, for example, might be wondering whether it is possible to earn their qualifications online. Veterinarians spend their days working with animals with the aim of preventing disease and treating sick animals. To become a fully qualified veterinarian, you need to complete an undergraduate program (preferably focusing on biology or science) as well as a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine. There are a number of excellent schools for veterinary medicine in the US, offering traditional campus education. Since the entire process can take up to eight years, many students may be keen to explore the possibility of completing some portion of their studies through distance education.
It is quite difficult to find a fully online doctoral degree in veterinary medicine owing to the nature of the coursework, a large component of which consists of lab and clinical hours. Some online programs combine a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree with a master’s degree in food safety or public health. Such programs typically offer a combination of online courses, clinical hours, and internships. In addition, there are various accredited distance education programs in veterinary technology at Cedar Valley College, Jefferson State Community College, San Juan College, Colby Community College, and Penn Foster College. Practicing veterinarians and veterinary nurses/technicians who want to hone their professional skills or upgrade their qualifications can also take online courses, such as those offered by the Royal Veterinary College, Centre for Veterinary Education, and VetMed Team.
Occupation therapists, on the other hand, work with sick, injured, and disabled people, using therapy to help them better accomplish a range of day to day tasks. Their job responsibilities include assessing patients, developing treatment plans, demonstrating exercises, helping patients carry out everyday activities, introducing changes in the home/workspace for patients’ convenience, educating patients’ families, and monitoring progress. Aspirants will need to earn at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited school. While not absolutely necessary for admission, many students do complete an undergraduate degree program in occupational therapy. Students can explore a number of top occupational therapy schools in the US that offer strong on-campus programs.
Compared with veterinary medicine, occupational therapy has a lot more distance learning opportunities. Programs typically offer a combination of online studies and campus classes. Distance learning associate’s degree programs allow students to become qualified occupational therapy assistants. Those who have their occupational therapy assistant credentials can then apply for a transitional program, which combines a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree and can be completed in approximately 3.5 years. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy, you can apply for an online master’s degree program. Various schools offer distance education programs in occupational therapy, including San Jose State University, Concordia University, Remington College, and University of Southern California.