Get your books together, sharpen your pencils and polish up that apple – it’s time for school!
But wait! It’s the 21st century, so it’s more like boot up your computer, turn on your printer and grab that mouse. You’re only a click away from a degree in anything you can dream about.
No more driving to the college campus, finding a parking space, and rushing to classes. Just pull your chair up to the computer and log on. School is in session!
For several decades now, there have been courses you could take through correspondence. Trouble was, you were limited to a very few topics. When it came to college courses, it was difficult to find accredited schools, so all that study would count towards your degree requirements. Or you could take the basic courses, but when it came time for testing, you had to go to the nearest college campus, so a professor could properly monitor you.
Then came televised classes, hosted by teachers. You watched the program and read your material. But when it came time for testing, it was back to the local campus again for proper monitoring.
There was still, unfortunately, the same problem of timing. If you held a full time job, you weren’t home to watch the televised programs and you missed your classes.
Now, thanks to computers and the World Wide Web, an entire world of learning is available to all. It’s now referred to as Distance Learning and the possibilities are as varied as the students themselves.
No need to get dressed, make the drive, park your car and sit in classrooms. No college campuses near you? No worries. No transportation to and from the campuses? No worries. No times during the day to attend classes? No worries.
Distance Learning has developed into an alternative form of education for everyone seeking to learn new subjects or enhance existing skills. And most programs allow you to work at your own pace, wherever you want, whenever you want.
Most online courses put you together one-on-one with your instructor, but also allows you to interface with your fellow students through forums. This is especially helpful with isolation issues. You’re not all alone out there in cyberspace; your fellow students are there to share experiences and helpful hints.
And now you’re probably wondering – Can I afford to take classes online?
Well, the price of an online education varies. You can expect to pay as little as $100 or more than $300 per credit. The average tuition for online programs sponsored by universities is generally anywhere from $110-170. There may also be registration or enrollment fees. Another advantage to taking online classes is that you needn’t worry about out-of-state tuition charges. Also, you can qualify for financial aid and scholarships the same as students in traditional programs.
Be sure to choose the program that fits in with your career goals, lifestyle and your own personal needs.
So, after you’ve decided what career you want and after you’ve picked your online university or program, here’s a checklist to get you started on your classes.
*Invest in an up-to-date computer and of course, a high-speed internet connection.
*Always keep copies of all correspondence between you and your instructor.
*Set up a daily schedule for classes and study time.
*Find a reasonably quiet area where you can be free of distractions and can concentrate on your studies.
*Be sure to participate in your classes. Ask questions and if you encounter any problems, immediately get in touch with your instructor and have them clarify.
*Get yourself a study buddy and keep in touch. That’s another advantage to the student forums.
Most of all enjoy the studies and the online classroom experience. Plan for your online and offline success.
“What is success?
To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or redeemed social conditions; To know that even one life has been breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson