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Remember, you chose to do this. Be proud of your accomplishments. It is important to note that every online program is different. Some are completely online while others called hybrids require that students come to a physical campus for lectures or test taking.

If your schedule permits you to attend campus sessions once in a while then hybrid would be suitable. Universities like NYU operate under synchronous which means students and teachers participate at the same time in a virtual classroom or chat session via the web. An individual who has the time to attend a virtual session but cannot commute to a college campus would find this a great option.

The other learning outlet for online education is asynchronous, which is self-paced allowing students to work independently.

If you like not having to attend class on campus or in a virtual classroom then asynchronous would be best for you. Some like Stephanie a 28year old single mother with a small child would benefit from this type of online education.

She can take classes at home while caring for her infant child. Whichever online education options you choose they all require focus, dedication, and motivation. Trying to focus in a virtual online class is harder than a traditional classroom because there are so many distractions.

If you attend online classes at home or the office you run the risk of hearing outside noise such as people chatter, TV or radio, office equipment, children. Regular campus classrooms are closed in so there is no one else besides the teacher and students; there are fewer or no interruptions. Because of the distractions online classes require more discipline, you must be able to concentrate under pressure. Another reason online an education takes discipline and maturity is that unlike a normal campus the teacher is not directly in front of you and visible.

In a normal campus classroom the teacher is in front of you supervising and making sure you are paying attention and completing assignments. For a young college student this is beneficial because they lack the responsibility to be organized and multi task on their own.

Adult students however are more inclined to be mature because of already existing obligations like work and family. According to studies done by the U. Office of technology Assessment compared to traditional students, online adult learners do as well or better in courses and on tests. In another study done by CBS news human resources executives agreed students who go to school online after work while balancing family life demonstrate a particular ambition and resourcefulness that would be an asset in the work place.

Mature adult students understand the importance of an education and how valuable it is to their lives. Another example is college tuition being expensive this means budgeting is important.

Budgeting money and time one asset in college success. Traditional year old college students still lack the discipline for time and financial budgeting. Many rely on parents to support them financially while in school. They have teachers or peers to help them with time management for school assignments and things of that nature.

One of the reasons parents encourage their kids to attend college is so they can become responsible. Anna Morgan is a professor at Albuquerque Community College. She teaches Business Writing courses in both distance learning online and real campus classroom.

Her distance learning class is held twice a week online in a virtual classroom. Most of her online students are between the ages of Some of them have children, full time employment or both. Her campus class students are typical college age all under 21 years of age. Anna states that most of her students perform fairly well, but if she were to switch students so that online students were taking campus classes and campus students were to go online it would be as successful, the performance level would drop.

Adult students would not be able to attend campus class. She says it helps her students if they are reminded when assignments are due and that she is visible, not just a face behind a computer screen. In her opinion adult students in her online class are mature and more capable of succeeding in an online education environment.

I asked to interview a student from each of her classes to see what their opinions were and why they chose that particular learning environment. He is married but does not have any children and works a full time job.

I asked him why he waited to go to college, he stated that he and his wife got married young so he needed to work and support his family and college tuition was not in their budget. Steven has been working for Intel for almost 10 years, when he started working they gave complete training to new hires without a college degree.

Now new hires must have a degree in order to apply. He feels the way business is going job security is very low. Obtaining a degree would increase his chances of getting a job elsewhere should Intel fall. Because his schedule is so hectic an online education is the only option he has. Commuting back and forth to a college campus after working hour shifts is too difficult.

Steve says that he gets online to attend class from his office at work or home computer. I asked him if preparing and organizing for class was difficult, he said no because he uses Outlook Express and other multi tasking skills to handle all his responsibilities including school.

The other student I interviewed attends class on campus. Lisa Hamilton is 19, studying for a Bachelors in communications. I asked Lisa if she had ever thought about taking classes online, she thought that it would be a challenge. In her opinion online classes are for the most part independent and self structured.

Lisa felt she would have to be more organized because the professor would not be available as much to guide her. Online classes would require a lot more effort on her part.

Lisa also stated that it is already hard for her to remember everything she must do for campus classes. I wanted to hear other situations that dealt with online learning so Anna suggested I speak with Tonya, a year-old student in her online business writing class.

Tonya is different from the other students in the distance-learning program she is also the youngest. I asked her why she chose online learning instead of campus classes, she stated that after attending traditional classes she preferred online.

Tonya felt pressure in a regular classroom because everyone could see her vulnerability. This is one reason I also chose an online education. When I was a year-old senior in high school, I was preparing for college the following year. College was something we knew we had to attend. No one gave it a second thought because our parents, teachers, and counselors encouraged us to go.

In my high school they start preparing you for college right away. By your junior year we were expected to know which colleges we sought admission. I remember my junior year all the pressure to excel on academics; because my teachers would always say how that is the year colleges look at the most.

I never had time to think about what I wanted to do with my life or if I even wanted to go to college. When I did think about college it was about all the fun and excitement in the atmosphere.

I was a cheerleader in a high school and being a cheerleader for college seemed like the logical next step. High school sports games were always filled with exhilaration so college had to be twice that. The only difference is that my parents would not be there. This time I would be on my own less rules and restrictions. It was obvious who was an only child and which students were the youngest out of siblings. Parents dropping off their youngest child looked slightly more relived like they finally reached the end of a long journey.

As me and my parents were driving through the campus looking for my dorm house there was so much activity around us. Fraternities and Sororities showing off their colors and logos trying to get new recruits to pledge, then step teams and cheerleaders dancing and cheering; there were also other school clubs and groups ready and prepared to give information to freshman.

When we pulled up to my dorm and went inside to get my welcome packet and keys, they immediately encouraged me to join in the dorm activities. The dorm had hallway decorating contests, movie nights, and slumber parties happening frequently.

I guess all these things were to help motivate students and make them feel welcome. My move in day was different from most of the new students because I actually lived in state, for some other students this was far from home. My roommate was already unpacked by the time I got there; she was from California majoring in psychology. From the look on her face, I could tell we were going to get along great.

After my parents left, my roommate Shelly and I attended student orientation. A whole auditorium filled with new students ready to embark on college life. The majority thought about parties that night and whatever else would be going on. I was actually split in the middle between which courses to take and which event to attend tonight. Shelly was busy looking around trying to count how many cute guys were in the room.

Looking around it was obvious that all of the males there were looking at every female deciphering who looked good, who they could date and how fast. During this parade of body scooping and party planning, the Dean of all the departments and head of the freshman class spoke to everyone. The gist of what they all stated was what you normally hear on the first day of college. Look to your left, look to your right the person next to you may not be here on graduation day in four years.

This is a very blunt but true statement. Little did I know college was much more than I had anticipated and that I was not mentally prepared. I remember the first class of the semester everyone seemed to be excited about learning. I think that a lot of kids watch movies or television shows that display college life and believe it as real; as if college is exactly like that.

Very seldom does Hollywood show college to be a challenge and if they do the characters appear to overcome the obstacles with ease.


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