SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the early days of the Internet, there was something of a stigma attached to online schools like Almeda University. A degree obtained from a virtual campus may have, at one time, held less impact among employers than a degree obtained from a more traditional college or university. Over time, however, online education has become a major industry and a powerful force in shaping the academic community. A company called 2tor has announced significant financial backing for new programs that stand to propel the industry even further. As a result, Almeda University, and other schools like it, are reporting that much of the online education stigma has begun to vanish.
2tor recently announced that it has secured more than $26 million in funding, all geared toward a "revamp" of online education. This level of funding goes to show how seriously virtual education is taken now, as well as how rapidly the technology is progressing. What is noteworthy about 2tor, however, is its focus on cultivating a more positive reputation for online education—in particular, for virtual-only schools like Almeda.
The education start-up, now four years old, has secured a total of $97 million in funding. The company has acknowledged that, while online education is increasingly popular, there is still work to be done in elevating its status and reputation. 2tor is seeking to partner with schools around the country to administer high-quality virtual classroom environments.
So far, these efforts to raise the standing of online education seem to be paying off. Richard Smith, an executive with the online-only Almeda University, says he has noticed a definite change in public perception. "We have long been criticized for being an online only program, but Almeda University is just now beginning to gain mainstream acceptance for offering virtual-only programs," notes Smith.
Smith elaborates on the uphill battle that virtual universities have long faced. "The problem with the online model, in our experience, has not been lack of student interest. Until very recently, it was the employers that frowned upon resumes showing university credits earned online," says Smith. "Certainly one or two online classes have typically been acceptable to traditional employers, but complete curricula by online means was strongly disfavored."
Pointing to the ongoing efforts made by companies like 2tor, as well as to the continued surge in popularity experienced by schools like Almeda, Smith affirms that the scenario is improving. "Fortunately, Almeda University is beginning to see less and less aversion to electronic forms of learning," he concludes.
Almeda University is far from the only institution to benefit from advances in virtual education technology. The labors of companies like 2tor are largely responsible for these advances. That company has brought its interactive, Web-based learning technologies, as well as platforms for streaming lectures and classroom presentations, to several large universities. The company has a staff of 370, and its technology is utilized in more than two dozen different countries.
Still, Smith is adamant that what sets schools like his apart isn't the technology itself, but rather the high-caliber education that students receive. Degrees in business, theology, and social work are all offered by Almeda University.
Almeda University is an online university that has served an international community of learners for more than fifteen years. Founded in 1997, Almeda is committed to advanced online technology and a cutting-edge curriculum. The school's mission is to help open doors for its students no matter which field or profession they choose.
Almeda University is unique even among other online institutions for its ability to accommodate a wide range of lifestyles and learning styles. Integral to their philosophy is their acceptance of different life experiences as academic credits; practical skills learned in an office or vocational environment are rewarded. Additionally, Almeda University accommodates academic interests in a variety of scholarly fields, ranging from business to theology.
More information about Almeda University can be found at www.almedauniversity.org.
SOURCE Almeda University