Online Study - Is it Legitimate?

Knowledge any way you can get it!

Since the beginning of time, we instinctively search for knowledge to improve our lives, learn a new skill, upgrade an old skill, seek professional certification or just for fun because many of us are information junkies.  Whatever draws you toward more learning, it's all good.

Traditionally, we sought out books and mentors, teachers and professionals to guide us, and impart their knowledge, some with gentle guidance and others as subtle as a sledgehammer.  And this is still a tried and true method.  Whatever method you were guided to, that was meant for you and, yes it's all good.

Modern times, specifically since the early 1990s, technological advances changed the way we shop, share information, love, send greetings and invitations, connect with friends and family miles away, in mere seconds. And yes, it also changed the way we learn, study and gain valid professional certification. Yes, this is still all good.  Connecting, engaging and learning are still very basic human needs, and we try to get them wherever we can.  

Study in brick and mortar schools, institutions and community centers are still a valid method of gaining knowledge and skills, but there's a new kid on the block. Well maybe not such a new kid after all. Correspondence study has been around for over 170 years and was born in Great Britain when a professor offered to give and receive assignments and assessments from students at a distance.   

E-connectivity changed everything

When computers shrunk from their elephant-sized machines, to the desktop versions most of us now use, and online connectivity was born, the hassle of mailing documents back and forth became a thing of the past.  This was truly a game-changer for people all over the world who relied on distance learning for many reasons, including but not limited to, far distances from schools or training centers, time-constraints, working full time, and disability preventing mobility.

Currently, many universities offer accredited online courses whether it is for that student who needs specific knowledge, and it's only available in this format - imagine!  Or, perhaps a student wishing to expand their study from another university on the other side of the globe and their home university approves it all!  So much has changed, and most importantly, is that this change includes the legitimacy of online study.

So many courses, so little time

I have had personal experience with regular brick and mortar schools all the way to university, remote correspondence study, as well as online professional certification study.  A correspondence course showed up in my snail mail many years ago...imagine we have to mention this so we don't get confused with online e-mail!  At first it appeared as junk mail until I took a closer look.  A "writing for children" school in Connecticut was offering a unique professional writing course. 

Wow!  Here was my chance to follow my interests in writing and since I just came off of a long term period of recording children songs and stories, I was still in the zone, and I really wanted to do this!  Well I did!  It took me a year of mailing all of my assignments to the mentor assigned to me. (They preferred to operate less online and more via regular post.)  She was great to work with and her critiques of my work were immeasurable!  It was a boost to my confidence and self-esteem, and I always feel grateful for that opportunity each time I see my framed diploma over my desk!   The name of the school, founded in 1969 and still going strong is The Institute of Children's Literature.

 Fast forward a few years after that, I came across an online study program for nutritional consulting.  At this point, I didn't know the trajectory of my personal journey, but now, it all makes sense.  Remember, "the past does not define us, it prepares us".   So, I embarked on an online program which was challenging and rewarding.  Although, at the time I only had time for one course due to its intense nature and my time constraints being a single mom, but I completed one of seven courses in this program successfully, and learned so much about the fundamentals of nutrition, anatomy and physiology, and the practice of ayurveda. I regret not completing the program, but have recently found a comparable equivalent for less...see below.   The online school I used is still around and called alive Academy.

No matter, what you study, how or where, regularly engaging the grey matter with new knowledge keeps you feeling young and invigorated as you practice new skills to serve your community or just to release your inner artist, writer, singer, or magic maker!

Professional accreditation is possible for anyone

Most recently, I completed two online continuing professional development courses carrying a weight of 520 hours of training in my case, in holistic modalities.  Again, this program is not for the faint of heart.  You need to be disciplined, self-guided and research-oriented to supplement the reading material.  The assessments after each module or chapter, are designed to push you to gain more knowledge from other sources in order to give a complete answer.  Their online student support is always prompt and knowledgeable, I would know, I used them regularly! It was, a very humbling experience but the knowledge I gained is immeasurable as it will impact me in more ways than one!   The name of the online school is Centre of Excellence.  

Due to this last successful attempt with online study, I can now add these training hours earned, to those  accumulated over the years in both online and brick and mortar schools, to exceed the 1000 minimum hours in holistic modalities training required to issue naturopath service receipts.  Clients who are covered for this service under their employee health benefit plan will greatly benefit from natural and holistic approaches and be reimbursed for most of their costs, and yes, my business can potentially flourish because of it. My business's success is tied to how many people I can help reach their wellness goals.  Win-Win!

My membership and support from the Academy of Naturopaths and Naturo-therapists of Canda has been approved to issue naturopath receipts.  This is another game-changer as now, all those clients who called me over the years with their initial question of "do you offer receipts for insurance purposes" can now benefit. I can now reach and treat so many clients who are interested in more holistic approaches towards health and over all wellness.  

I'm not done!  As challenging as my recent experience was, I was guided to do more study, and I have already purchased two more courses with COE to raise my own awareness and knowledge in other holistic modalities, and wellness to better serve my community.  It's just my thing to keep moving forward in study. (COE has a large variety of courses in different disciplines and there is no time limit to complete them).

What's Next?

As a Reiki practitioner in advanced techniques I now feel ready to offer Reiki courses and attunements, due to all the confidence I have gained from all forms of study. 

Practicing sound therapy using my singing voice in weekly Healing Song Guided Meditation circles for over a year, I offer a unique healing experience. 

I will now also organize workshops on basic nutrition to keep our bodies running smoothly from one season to the next, and offer basic aromatherapy guidance for every day use.  

As I move along this path, more ideas will come to me to how to better serve my community and I am sure that I will come across more on-line courses that call to me.  

One thing is for certain however,  that I am keenly aware that those students who specialize over many years with formal education in naturopathy, or other disciplines, which include close guidance and intense practice, are extremely skilled once they begin to serve their communities.  As an online learner, my journey is different as I will need to gain more knowledge via experiential learning. And that's good for me, as this suits my current stage in life.  

In summary, online study is not only legitimate but the way of the future as we begin to rely solely on technology to advance our skills, receive certification and accreditation, as well as acknowledgement from our peers and the community we serve.  There are many options, choices, and paths for our learning experience that are all valid, and as such, should all be considered if the circumstances require it.

If you are interested in Reiki sessions, live or distant, or any of my other holistic services contact me at  

Are you struggling with stringing words together to raise your business profile and visibility? Contact me at for ghostwriting services and other details!  

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*Photo Credits: Pixabay