Entering into an online degree program is not difficult. Following these simple steps will ensure that every potential student has a smooth transition:
Is An Online Degree The Right Fit?
An online student needs to have the type of personality that will allow them to succeed in an environment that is quite secluded. Many online degree programs have interaction between students, but these are primarily online conversations and forums. There is not a lot of feedback in person. Students who thrive on social interaction need to carefully consider whether or not their education can thrive without it.
An online degree program requires a lot of dedication and self-motivation. Enrolled students need to have the internal drive to get the work done. With nobody watching to see if classes are attended or completed, it is easy to fall behind during a semester. Online degree students who are naturally driven and able to work easily from home often see the most success.
Research Online Degree Programs
Hundreds of online degree programs exist on the Internet. Once a student has decided this is the best route to pursue their degree, it is important to find the program with the best fit. There are several online directories, which make it easy to comb through the choices.
Take into consideration the school's accreditation, academic focus, and tuition. It is also important to investigate how they coordinate their online degree program and how the curriculum is presented. Some schools require students to "meet" online at specific times during the week for class. Others have a more flexible timeline. Once these parameters narrow the choices, a clear winner will emerge.
Most schools with online degree programs have an easily accessible online application for admission. Fill out and submit the application -- noting any special requirements (writing samples, letters of recommendation, etc.)
Once the school receives your application, they should let you know about any additional information or documents you need. These may include transcripts of previous work, a work and life-learning portfolio, and various documents related to finance.
Start the course
Beginning any degree program, whether online or through a traditional school, can impact a person's schedule immensely. Set aside a certain time each day for studies. Creating a consistent routine is especially helpful for first time online degree students.
It is also helpful to work with school administrators on an education plan. This should be a clear road map to degree completion and will allow the student to cross off mileposts as they go. Besides keeping a student on track academically, it also serves to motivate and celebrate with each milepost crossed.