Congratulations on deciding to obtain your bachelor’s degree or pursue graduate studies. Choosing continuing education will enrich your career prospects and the entire quality of your life. Nothing so rewards human beings as a sense of achievement. It is not an easy task; the days feel like weeks and the semesters can drag on until you swear you must be getting a PhD out of the deal.
Online universities have a come long way as expectations have risen. No longer diploma mills they have standards of accreditation to meet and reputations to protect. Expect to work and work hard. Organizational assistance ahead of time will make your studies go much more smoothly.
Talk to an alumnus from the school you’ll be attending. Preferably they have graduated from your particular program and done well. For-profit institutions are aggressive in courting applicants and they will gladly put you in touch with an academic adviser or peer mentor.
You’re probably wondering how to budget your time if there is no specified point to log-in to your portal. A good rule of thumb is to spend four hours per class per week on the portal and having discussions with classmates. Don’t miss out on peer interaction! Plan to study for two hours for every hour you spend in class. One class is a very reasonable workload on top of a full-time job. Plan to log-in at least every other day. Have two hours to yourself each evening where if a deadline has to be met you can finesse it.
Don’t fall behind. Hey, life happens. Kids fall ill and job pressures sometimes get us burning the midnight oil. Don’t lose sight of why you started this whole thing. Online classes can be brutal if you get in a hole. Don’t wait to dig yourself out. Keep constant contact with the professor if you miss a deadline and explain the tardiness.
Let the instructors see the effort and they’ll understand your plight. Use lunch breaks from work to get a leg-up on your studies. That hour at the desk surfing TMZ could be better spent on the school’s web site planning around your calendar. Work from in front and not from behind. Type while you eat. That’s what professionals like you do! It’s easier to make the concessions required to finish school when they’re done during time you’re stuck in the office as opposed to your own free hours. Work in groups to help carry each other to the finish line. Study buddies are a sine qua non.
Don’t be a hero. Finish one class at a time if that’s what it takes. Your degree will be most valuable if on an application the reviewer sees an excellent GPA. Realistically grades can be a bit inflated on online universities because failing someone out costs them money.
Getting a 4.0 is not just a gold standard anymore but a realistic goal that is required to get yourself on par with the slew of graduates from brick and mortar schools. It might take spending twenty-four months on your program instead of eighteen but it is worth it. Don’t let anyone say ‘no’ when you ask for the next raise. Throw your transcript down on the table, “You want leverage, that’s my leverage!”