I came across this post, So you want to learn to program? by Robert Talbert. I was impressed at the free resources that are available. If you are self-motivated and able to stick with it, you can learn a great deal about programming online.
Of course, most of us want to have that personal touch that only a real, human instructor can offer, which why many of us will sign up for classes here at MVCC and work with a real teacher. There is also a benefit to getting college credits for classes.