Professional working on a strategy
Jul 06, 2017 | Cindy Madden

Online degree programs offer both traditional and non-traditional students the opportunity to enhance their career skills in a manner that is convenient for each individual. This is especially true for working adults who are trying to enhance their skill-sets or improve their career opportunities.  Online degree programs present a great option because they eliminate many inconveniences— such as required attendance in on-campus classrooms at specific times. Those with the initiative to take advantage of this opportunity and who are looking for online degree program may find the accompanying advice useful. These online degree program tips can help students — especially working professionals — gain the most out of their experience and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed as they attempt to balance the demands of their studies and their everyday lives.

  1. Create a quiet space. Creating a sanctuary in your home or becoming a regular at a nearby coffee shop where you can think without distraction will help you stay focused.
  2. Review the syllabus carefully. Before you begin each class, read the syllabus carefully so that you know early on exactly what will be expected of you. This will give you a basis for setting your schedule and prevent you from being surprised by an assignment or project at an inconvenient time.
  3. Get to know your instructors. Even though you may never meet face to face, your online instructors are accessible by email and during virtual office hours. Make a point to introduce yourself and do not be afraid to ask them questions when you have them.
  4. Plan ahead. Be sure to mark important due dates on your calendar and give yourself enough time to complete assignments.
  5. Be prepared to handle stress. No matter how prepared you are, there will be times when the demands of your coursework and your life will catch up to you. Be sure you have a strategy in place to cope with the stress, and that you will have enough time to take a break now and then.
  6. Establish priorities and adhere to them. You may need to choose between your studies and your other responsibilities or obligations as you endeavor to complete your coursework, so determine ahead of time which of those obligations you are able to defer.
  7. Establish good study habits. It can be easy to fall behind, so make sure you establish a daily routine for your studies and stick to it.
  8. Ask for support from friends and family. If possible, ask friends and family to help you during your studies by taking some of your other responsibilities off your agenda for a while.
  9. Familiarize yourself with any available resources. Just because you are taking your classes online does not mean you cannot take advantage of all the resources the school has. Your advisor can help you arrange for tutoring or other services if needed.
  10. Be positive. The most important resource you can have is a positive attitude. Remember why you are pursuing your degree and use that as motivation.

Following these online degree program best practices can help students stay motivated as they pursue their degrees. If you are ready to take the next step in your career and begin a valuable online degree program, contact us at suo-inquiry@stevenson.edu or 1-877-531-7118.

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