Dear Teacher

What to look for in an online degree program

Question: I’m considering taking courses online and getting my associate or bachelor’s degree. What should I look for when I select an online college to attend?

— Concerned

Answer: Find out the history of the online program you are thinking about selecting. Online learning brings more opportunities to students because of the flexibility of the classes. Students can access the lectures and complete assignments on their own time schedule.

In selecting an online program, there are several factors that you should consider. Financial aid is one of the most important. Traditional colleges have the edge here, so make sure that an online school is eligible for federal and state aid packages. Plus, you definitely need to select an online program that is accredited so you know it has an acceptable level of quality. Regional accreditation is the most rigorous and is generally accepted. If you opt for an associate degree program, make sure it is transferable to another college before signing up for it. Many of these degrees outside of RN and similar programs may or may not be transferable.

It’s very important that you select the right online degree program. There are many websites that compile lists of the best programs. Two with lots of information about online programs that you will find helpful are and

Here is a list of the top 15 accredited bachelor degree programs from All of these schools are accredited:

–University of Florida

–University of Central Florida

–Northeastern University-Global Campus

–The University of Alabama

–Liberty University

–Florida International University

–Arizona State University

–University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

–Excelsior College

–Regis University

–Brandman University

–Texas Tech

–Cleary University

–Western Governors University

–Colorado State University

Question: My pre-school-age daughter wants to learn to write her name. How do I start teaching her?

— Need to Know

Answer: Now that your daughter is interested in learning to write, you want to start teaching her the alphabet. Don’t use a large pencil. Young children do better with regular pencils, and there is even some evidence that they do best with felt-tip pens, which glide easily. As far as paper goes, when children are beginning to learn to write letters, it is best to use lined paper.

Because kindergarten teachers want young children to know how to write their names, make an effort to teach her this skill. Use the following steps to teach name writing, and be sure to stay on each step unit it is thoroughly mastered:

–Teach children to write the letters in their name in any order, being sure to tell them the names of the letters.

–Teach only the first letter in names as a capital letter.

–Once she knows the letters in her name, print her name and let her trace over the letters. Children find that it is fun to trace the letters in sand or shaving cream.

–Use dots to write children’s names, and have the children copy them, saying each letter as it is written.

–The last step is to have children write their names without looking at a model.

Send questions and comments to Dear Teacher, in care of this newspaper, 1 North Illinois Street No. 2004, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or log on to, or email