October 1, 2014

Elyria
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Online courses help professionals balance family, work and school

ClassAtHomeBalancing a career and a family can be difficult, and such a task gets even more complicated for professionals who decide it’s time to further their educations. Though it can be difficult to balance all three, many degree programs are now more flexible than ever.

In the past, night school was the only way working professionals could simultaneously pursue their careers and further their educations. But thanks to advancements in technology, distance learning has enabled men and women to pursue their educations without committing to night school.

Flexible hours that allow students to complete coursework on their own time as long as they meet deadlines for assignments has made online degrees more and more attractive to busy professionals. Students and professors can keep in touch via the Internet, and some online students have found it easier to work with professors online than in a classroom.

Many schools now offer the same curriculum and courses through distance learning that they offer on campus. Students who may have studied at a particular school for an undergraduate degree may be able to pursue additional degrees online at their alma mater. When pursuing such degrees, students must make sure the university is accredited.

Those considering online courses should realize that online courses require a certain measure of focus that differs from the focus necessary to succeed in a more typical academic environment.

* If you are new to online learning, initially enroll in one course at a time to get a feel for the process. Focus on a single course at a time so you can gauge how much attention and time is necessary to perform your best. There is no point paying the tuition only to have to repeat the course again for lack of concentration from stretching yourself too thin.

* Sometimes professors will offer live lectures in addition to the standard coursework they assign. Make the time to participate in such live sessions.

* Make time too for daily study sessions, just as you would when taking classes on campus.

* Routinely communicate with your professor. This way you can promptly address questions about coursework.

When taking online courses, students should resist the temptation to treat such courses as less important than those classes taken on campus.