5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Taking Online Courses
Many busy adults want to earn college degrees to help them advance in their current jobs or to take their careers in different directions. However, the idea of fitting traditional college classes into a schedule that’s already packed with work and family responsibilities can be daunting. As technology has evolved over the past decade, there have been exciting advancements in higher education.
Online classes and degree programs are available through almost every college and university, giving busy adults access to the courses they want to take from the comfort of their homes. In fact, one of the major benefits of online college classes is that you can complete them from virtually anywhere in the world, as long as you have Internet access. Taking your classes online means you don’t have to get to campus at a specific time, find a parking space and sit in a classroom.
For many students, this flexibility is perfect. Yet taking online college courses is not right for everyone. This option requires a different level of commitment and dedication to log in to attend classes and complete required work.
If you are considering taking online classes, ask yourself these questions to determine whether online coursework makes sense for you:
1. Is the school accredited and will the courses/degree be recognized by current or future employers? Not all online college options are the same. If you choose to pursue a degree or take college classes through an online provider that is not accredited, you may not be able to get financial aid, be eligible for tuition reimbursement, or find much success advancing in your career. Look for a college that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to be sure you are choosing a school that has met the rigorous accreditation requirements.
2. Can I keep myself accountable to meet course requirements? One of the best features of online courses for many students is the ability to exert more control over when and where you attend courses. However, some students need the accountability of going to a college campus to attend classes and interact in-person with faculty, staff and other students. Decide if you have the internal drive to make yourself log on to classes when nobody is there watching to see if you’re “going to class.”
3. Do I have the right technology? Because you will be completing your college coursework online, it’s critical that you have the right technology to do so. You need a computer, tablet or mobile device that has enough power to function effectively. You also must ensure you have a reliable Internet connection. Check with the college you are considering attending to determine whether it has recommended minimum technology requirements for students enrolled in online classes.
4. Can I devote enough time to online coursework? If you’re a busy adult, you may be pulled in several directions every day. However, if you commit to enrolling in and attending online classes, you must find enough free time in your calendar to attend classes and to do homework and study outside of class hours. Take an honest look at your schedule to see if you can devote the time needed to college courses.
5. Does the college help facilitate collaboration between students and faculty? A big part of the college learning experience happens outside class. Remember that with online classes, your interaction with fellow students and faculty will be different than it is for traditional college students. Check with the college you are considering to determine whether, and how, it helps facilitate collaboration and how students can get help from their teachers without commuting to campus to do so.
Online courses offer a great option for busy adults to earn college degrees. To learn more about the online college classes available from Generations College in Chicago, contact us today.