Mark Geller, Dean of National Paralegal College discusses their distance ducation paralegal training program.
Tell us about the distance learning programs offered at National Paralegal College.
National Paralegal College offers
a 24-credit paralegal certificate program, and a 60-credit
of paralegal studies degree program.
What is the typical duration of each of your programs?
Students typically complete our certificate program in 7 months and our degree program in 15 months.
What would you say makes National Paralegal College programs different and better than other comparable online programs?
National Paralegal College offers a completely interactive internet based program. Each course lasts 8 weeks and includes 15 online lectures where the students hear and see everything the instructor says and puts up on his blackboard. Students can communicate with the instructor and with other students during the lectures. For students who cannot attend the live class, the lectures are recorded in full audio/video format and can be viewed on the students’’ PC at any time.
How important would you say accreditation is when choosing an online college?
Accreditation is very important. Firstly, some states require accreditation for individuals to practice as paralegals. Secondly, employers demand a quality paralegal education when hiring paralegals and therefore look to the source of the paralegal certification or degree. In the U.S., the system for maintaining basic standards in college or postsecondary institutions is the responsibility of independent accrediting agencies. The U.S. Secretary of Education recognizes only one agency dedicated to accrediting distance education institutions, the Distance Education and training Council or the DETC. National Paralegal College is accredited by Distance Education and Training Council, (202) 234-5100, which is listed by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
There is some debate as to whether or not online degrees are as worthwhile as traditional degrees. What steps does National Paralegal College take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they’d receive in a classroom?
Students who graduate National Paralegal College have an identical passing rate on the national Certified Paralegal Examination as students from traditional colleges. Students at National Paralegal College are actually trained more vigorously than at many traditional colleges because at National Paralegal College, each student receives a personal account for accessing the LexisNexis libraries, the leading online law library, which is used by all the prestigious law firms throughout the U.S. A student graduating form National Paralegal College with an associate degree will have completed 60 research assignments requiring extensive legal research utilizing the LexisNexis database.
What would you say are some of the benefits of earning a degree online rather than in a traditional classroom?
Online education enables students who are unable to attend a brick and mortar college to receive a college education at home. Online education is for people too busy working, taking care of children or for people who live far away from a traditional college. Anyone who can attend a classroom should take advantage of face to face learning. For those who cannot attend a classroom, National Paralegal College is there to provide as much of the traditional college experience as possible online.
If a student enrolled in one of your programs was interested in finding an internship in their field in their area, do you have any means of assisting them in acquiring an internship position?
We assist all students in finding internships.
Does National Paralegal College offer any job placement services to your students and graduates?
Yes. We assist our graduates in resume writing, interviewing techniques and in locating available positions in their area. Currently, approximately 90% of our graduates are working in the field.
Is financial aid available to students in your programs?
National Paralegal College does not participate in the Federal Title IV education programs so students cannot use Pell Grants. The reason is that administration costs are very high for these programs and as most of our students are adult learners who would not qualify for Pell Grants, we feel it is more beneficial for our students to keep tuition as low as possible. We offer long term loans and payment plans which enable students to attend NPC for a low monthly payment.
Do you have any advice for students enrolling in online classes for the first time?
Online education is great but is not for everybody. Some students simply must have the face to face learning experience. It’s important to try a class before making a commitment to online education. National Paralegal College allows all students to try the college for two weeks at no charge whatsoever.
What do you enjoy most about your position at National Paralegal College
Nothing gives me more pleasure then seeing a student succeed as a result of their education. I’m really happy when a student receives a job offer and when a student passes the national Certified Paralegal exam.
For more information on National Paralegal College, visit them online.
Thank you Mark for sharing and participating with us, this concludes our interview!