College isn't necessarily for everyone. You may want to pursue a career in a field that doesn't require a college degree. But if that's not the case, or if you just want to get a degree for personal reasons, there are a number of ways you can do that.
Throughout the Coast Guard, you can attend traditional college classes on-base or at a community college, four-year college, or university.
In addition, you can take courses through what's called "distance learning". Although it's defined in dozens of ways, there are three elements common to all distance learning programs:
the instructor and students are not geographically located in the same place;
instruction is provided via the mail, CD-ROMs, TV, radio, the Internet, or a combination of more than one of these media; and
communication between the instructor and students is done through the mail, by phone, or by various computer technologies.
You may hear various other terms used, but it's all distance learning: distance education, distributed learning, remote education, online learning, and open learning. They all mean pretty much the same thing. (Your Coast Guard Institute rating advancement courses, for example, are distance learning courses.)
The pages in this section will give you basic information and links to more detailed information about college. As always, if you don't find something you're looking for, e-mail me and I'll do my best to find it for you.