Why I went to online College, what I like and don’t like.

Published on: Mon Mar 16 2009

About three years ago, after I received my Associates degree from FIT and while I was living in Orlando Florida I decided to enroll with Empire State College Center for Distance Learning. At first the decision to enroll with Empire State was based on the fact that the college was part of the SUNY learning system and the price was the in-state tuition rate. I figured I could earn some credits towards my bachelors and continue school full time when I moved back to New York. I completed my first semester of online college while living in Florida. It was OK, but I defiantly had some bumps along the way. For one matter, I was late ordering the textbooks which was a problem. Textbooks are central to online college, and since my textbooks took a week to arrive I essentially missed the first week of class. I did manage to catch up, but at first I did not understand how to take advantage of my classes, and I still planned on switching back to ‘in person’ school. The only class I was really impressed with was Algebra. Online Algebra was great! When I did move back to New York I realized that to attend ‘in person’ would be the out-of-state rate for the first year, plus I enjoyed my job and did not really want to become a full time student again. I decided to take another semester and this time I prepared in advance; ordered the text books early, and set up a digital calendar to manage assignment due dates for my four classes. It was much more interesting this time. I realized that online college lets you teach yourself with the guidance of a knowledgeable director to point out when you are moving in the wrong direction. The textbook is your basic guide and I have access to the plethora of journals/newspapers/textbooks available through the online library. Now I really like online college, and I am used to having the classes as a background to my daily life. It will almost seem odd when I do not need to make weekend plans that include things like ‘Research the economics of the Roman Empire’ or ‘Crammers Rule’. There are things I would like to see changed, but these concern the technical details and not the idea of remote learning.