Many current and potential students are intrigued by the flexibility of online courses but worry an online program can’t compare to a traditional on-campus education — both in the standard of education and the remote learning experience.
Students often think they’ll be left to fend for themselves, trying to gain knowledge without being able to work with their professors or access other university resources. Another concern is scheduling; many students think they’ll have to log on for class at certain times.
At Concordia University Chicago, you don’t have to worry about any of these problems. Online learning is valued the same as traditional classroom experience; it’s simply another method of delivering a high-quality education and helping students reach their academic goals.
Same Degree, But With More Flexibility
While it’s true that some online programs have dozens of students in each class, at CUC, the classes are limited to no more than 18 students. This allows students and professors to get to know each other, and each student can receive individual attention. Students and professors enjoy open communication, and all of our professors are invested in every student, no matter the setting.
Classes are asynchronous, which means you’re free to log on at whatever time suits your schedule best. As long as you meet your due dates, you can do the work any time of day, whether it’s while the kids are asleep, during a morning commute, or on your lunch break at work.
Online students also have access to all the university’s resources. For example, all students are encouraged to sign up online for appointments at the writing center, where you can get feedback on your written assignments.
These support systems are in place because CUC’s online programs are a part of the same accredited university that’s been helping students achieve their academic goals since the 1800s. A degree from Concordia University Chicago Online is the same as one from Concordia University Chicago.
Online options are simply more accessible to a wider range of students. This includes working adults, those whose location limits access to higher education, and anyone who needs the flexibility to balance higher education with other responsibilities.
CUC has set up support systems to help each student succeed, but there are several actions students can take to make sure they reach their academic goals:
1. Be Proactive and Ask Questions
Our admissions reps and professors are there to answer questions. They love having the chance to speak with potential students and address any concerns. Before you enroll in a program and throughout your higher education experience, take advantage of these resources. Your education will shape your life, so be proactive, initiate conversations, and let these people help you get the most out of your experience.
2. Take Advantage of the Flexibility
With an online class format, you have complete freedom of flexibility. You don’t have to be logged in or attend a class at a certain time, and you can complete assignments whenever it fits into your schedule. However, without designated schedules to attend classes, it’s up to you to manage your time wisely and balance your course load with the other important elements of your life to complete tasks on time.
3. Be Prepared for Everything
When you’re working hard to fit classes into an already busy schedule, you don’t have time or energy to spare. Be sure to save your work frequently and save backup files online with tools like Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also use these online tools to access work from a variety of devices. If you find yourself sitting in a waiting room for half an hour, for example, use that time to study. You should also be sure to save instructors’ contact information on your phone so you can check in or email a question anywhere with an internet connection.
4. Engage With Other Students and Graduates
There’s a common misconception that you have to do everything alone in an online course. At Concordia, each class has a discussion group so you can get support and engage with your peers. There’s no need to feel alone when you’re learning with other students who have the same fears and questions you may struggle with. Additionally, many graduates are passionate about the programs they completed and are happy to talk about their experiences. Concordia’s admissions reps are happy to set up meetings between current and previous students.
5. Stay Determined
Whether in an online program or a traditional campus-based one, the most important factor in the success of a student is determination paired with self-reliance. You will face obstacles on the road to completing your degree, but if you’re driven enough to overcome them, your education can open up numerous possibilities in your life.
No one degree path is perfect for everyone, but online courses create new possibilities for students with a variety of backgrounds and life situations. Don’t waste your opportunity to improve not only your circumstances, but also yourself.
What can earning your degree do for you? Read our article, “5 Surprising Benefits of Higher Education Other Than a Degree.”
Concordia University – Chicago has been educating students for over 150 years and when you enroll in our online programs you earn the same campus quality degree. Ready to advance your career in health and fitness with a degree in Exercise Science? Contact one of our Admissions Advisors to learn more or download our program guide now.