Online distance education programs are a great way for a busy individual to get a degree or work training. There are a few steps necessary to get an online education.
- Is distance learning right for you? Online learning is not for everyone. Most classes are at a faster pace and you need to be focused and motivated to keep up with the requirements. If you are disorganized, a procrastinator, or need in-person contact with a teacher, you may find it necessary to enroll in a traditional campus-based school in order to succeed.
- Which online school or program is best for you? You need to take some time to research each program or school that offers your degree or training before making a decision. Making an informed decision based on financial circumstances, strength of the curriculum, and requirements for completion will save you a lot of stress and trouble in the future. You can call or email any school for more information in order to make your decision.
- Do not let enrollment or admissions counselors pressure you into making a decision right away. A lot of times the people who answer the phone or emails for an online school are actually salespeople. It is their job to sell the program to anyone who calls. Be prepared to say no and hang up if you get uncomfortable. Do not get pressured into signing up before you are ready to commit.
- Enroll in your program. If you find what you are looking for and figure out your best option, go ahead and sign up! Make sure to read the fine print on the contracts and know of any hidden fees before sending in your paperwork.
- Get organized! It is extremely beneficial to be as organized as possible when getting an online education. Almost everything is done electronically, so if you need a hard copy to do well, print things out. Make sure they are well labeled. A filing system or cabinet will do wonders to keep everything straight. Be sure to print a copy of the class syllabus and use it to mark a calendar of important due dates or other class requirements. Cross them off as you go and keep track of what you need to do.
- Don't hesitate to ask your classmates or professors for help. Just because you don't have face-to-face contact doesn't mean that they aren't going to help if you ask. Professors may even be MORE accessible online through instant emails than making an appointment for a meeting. Your classmates will also be an excellent resource-they are in the same boat you!
Keep plugging away at it all. Before you know it, you will have a degree that you have earned through hard work and determination!