Stratford Career Institute was founded in 1991 as a privately owned educational correspondence school. It is designed to give students an opportunity to complete a high school diploma or receive a certification in the area of study of their choice, all from the comforts of their own home.
- Course completion requirements
- Application process
Perhaps you weren't the most studious person in high school, or maybe life's circumstances didn't allow you to complete your high school studies. Or, maybe you are looking for a certificate in an area of study in an effort to improve your job outlook or simply to learn new skills and information. Stratford Career Institute offers a number of excellent ways to help you achieve your goals.
- Offerings. There is no shortage of distance learning courses you can take. The list of 62 courses can be found on the institution's website and includes studies in a number of useful disciplines and subjects. Anything from forensic science to plumbing, and a host of areas in between, are available. Whatever your interest is, you're likely to find a course of study that fits you best.
- Flexibility. Going back to school or finishing what you started but didn't complete for whatever reason is a noble endeavor. But doing it isn't as easy as it may sound. Not everyone has the flexibility and resources to spend hours a day in a classroom. Work and family obligations are barriers to this. But with Stratford Career Institute, your classroom is your living room (or whatever location you choose). The institute allows you to complete coursework where you're comfortable without having to be confined to a schoolroom.
- Course completion requirements. A lot of online and distance learning programs are intense and super-condensed into tight time frames. Six-, four- and even two-week courses are not uncommon. But with Stratford Career Institute, you can take your time if necessary. Likely, you have demanding job requirements and family commitments. So with Stratford, you can take a course of your choice and spend the time you need. Usually, you can take up to two years to complete the course. But, if you're a fast worker or simply want to get through the course quickly and move on to other things, that's fine to. Take the time that suits you best.
- Application process. Enrolling in a course is simple. The application process can be done online and can be completed in minutes. Within no time, you can be taking the course of your choice. Plus, there is no application fee.
- Not accredited
- Credits not transferable
Be careful when selecting a distance learning institution when taking courses or attaining a certification. There are also aspects you must be aware of that could be viewed as negatives. Here are some of Stratford Career Institute's cons:
- Cost. Most certifications and courses or close to $1,000. That's for one course. Yes, you can spread it over a year or even two, but that is still a high price to pay for a course. If you figure at a college or University, a full load is typically three of four courses per semester, it's easy to see that the cost at Stratford is uncomfortable.
- Not accredited. Be warned that Stratford has no accreditation from any certified national or regional accreditation body. Generally, this means that any college or university will not recognize your diploma or certification. So, essentially, your course certification can be for your own personal satisfaction or simply for additional knowledge that may help you in your job or future career. But don't expect it to be valid in the eyes of any reputable institution of higher learning. If you are looking for an accredited opportunity to further your education, Stratford will not be the best choice.
- Credits not transferable. Because of the point above, it's unlikely any credits will transfer to a college or university. Other distance learning institutions may accept transfer credits, but that is solely up to the institution's discretion.
- Flexibility, revisited. Perhaps this is an odd criticism, but the flexibility Stratford offers can easily be considered a negative, too. Unless you are a go-getter, self-starter and self-motivator, the lax completion time guidelines can make it difficult to finish the work. It would be so easy for the average person to procrastinate or even completely set aside the work until it is too late.
The Bottom Line
Distance education is becoming increasingly popular, especially among working adults. But even the younger crowd can be drawn to this form of learning, as it allows for a person to set his or her own pace and go at the speed with which they are comfortable. There is not as much pressure or stress involved when you essentially have all the time you need to finish up. From this standpoint, Stratford is an solid option.
The problem is, what value is there to spend hundreds of dollars and possibly months of your precious time when the work you are doing is not even from an accredited institution? What are you really getting out of your efforts? If you simply want to learn and to become more knowledgeable, there are cheaper, more appealing options.
We recommend choosing an accredited institution.