By Micaela Burney, September 2015
Looking for a college is about finding a place that is right for you! A college that is going to prepare you for a successful career and give you the best learning experience. One question that is most often asked “Is an online education different than a traditional in class room experience?” My answer would be: not as far as I can tell but, as in most things in life anything different is fodder for myths and false information. Most of the myths are just not true.
I have loved my online college experience. I was initially drawn to an online degree because I needed the flexibility and convenience. I am disabled and because of the nature of my illness that meant that an online university program was my only option. I have found that the online courses were just as good or better an experience than I had with campus college programs.
Don't let the myths about online college programs prevent you from making a great decision.
Online courses and degree programs continue to grow as an option for going to college. Students are turning to distance learning as a convenient, cost-effective way to earn a degree and sharpen their skills, but some myths and questions about the quality and value of an online education persist. Below are the top 3 myths that tend to be asked by most online college students.
Myth 1: Online is an easy education
This can’t be farther from the truth.
As with most reputable institutions, students have to complete the same material whether you are at a brick and mortar class or an online student. The big exception is that online students also have to really manage their time because online, no one is reminding them when assignments or projects are due. They allow flexibility and convenience but online courses have definite time frames, deadlines and due dates for accomplishing assigned reading, writing, participating in discussions and other activities.
Myth 2: You are on your own
I am not sure why some people feel that if you take an online class you’re on your own. Students have support from many sources when you take online courses at Utica. Your instructor is the primary contact when you have any questions related to your course. Students also are assigned a success coach and an adviser that students have access to. I have a wonderful adviser here at Utica College and I know I can count on her with every problem involving my classes, if I have any problem with a professor or if even if I am having trouble finding the textbooks needed for my classes.
Myth 3: Online credits will not transfer to another school
You sometimes see transferability issues with certain for-profit institutions or with certain types of courses/programs. Some students may have problems transferring credits regardless of whether they complete their study online or on campus. Overall, credits from online programs are not any harder to transfer than on-campus credits. An institution would have no way of knowing whether a course they are considering for transfer credit was taken in a classroom, online or some combination of the two. I have transferred from taking community college courses online, to taking classes in person to taking Utica College courses online, and every transfer has worked wonderfully.
Online courses and degree programs continue to grow as an option for going to college. Students are turning to distance learning as a convenient, cost-effective way to earn a degree and sharpen their skills. Some myths and questions about the quality and value of an online education persist. I was initially drawn to an online degree because I needed the flexibility and convenience and I have and continue to love my online college experience.
About the Author
Micaela Burney is lucky enough to be living on one of the most beautiful islands in the world; Oahu Hawaii. She is in the online Cybersecurity program at Utica College. She is particularly interested in Cyber Security and the law. She is in her second year of the program and will soon be looking for an internship. She would like to try to get an internship with the Oahu prosecutor's office in the Cybercrime division. Besides college, Micaela is also a violist (since the age of 4), and has played as a soloist, with duo's and groups for many years. She mostly plays at weddings and events, like birthdays and parties. She is also a certified diver, and hopes to start going on dive trips in Hawaii soon. College, her music and diving is more than enough to keep her busy, but she also has a service dog named Inca, to care for and keep trained in the over 90 commands she is able to do for Micaela!