After graduation, some high school seniors dread the thought of spending another minute in a classroom. The students desire freedom from the rules, order and rigor found in academia, and many enter the workforce soon after earning their diploma. Others find themselves unable to finish the academic program for various reasons, such as juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy or truancy, so they may not even consider attending college a possibility. Another group of students that find the traditional university program inaccessible are those who cannot afford to attend college, so entering the workplace is the only possible option. However, today, attending university and earning a degree has been made easier through online scheduling, alternative course scheduling, and support services.
Sometime after they have been married or had children, some decide having a college degree is worth the effort. However, planning to attend school around the lives of children, who also attend school, is difficult for parents seeking an education. In the past, an individual returning to school would find few options for attending. In fact, the thought of going to college would seem intimidating. Today, however, opportunities are available for individuals with a busy life and other commitments to earn a degree.
Online learning, for example, is one way for students to earn their degree. Online learning has revolutionized the way in which students learn, in addition to providing access to education for many. Some programs offer certificate and month-long classes that allow the student to focus on core classes while skipping general education requirements that have little to do with the degree. Other programs wave certain exams required in the traditional university. Maryville’s master of science in nursing, for instance, will admit students to its program without requiring the usual GRE/GMAT exams. Adults with families or who are just plain busy can log onto their computer and complete their course work at any time and all from the comfort of their home.
If an individual is uncomfortable with the lack of face-to-face interaction that online education provides, the student can also attend a conventional program school part-time. Most colleges require students to enroll in between nine and twelve credit hours to be considered full-time. Additionally, to successfully complete a course, most academic advisors tell students to spend two hours of study time per every credit hour taken. For a busy parent or fully-employed adult, finding this amount of time to devote to coursework may be impossible when facing the numerous tasks that face parents and adults each day. Part-time study allows the student to enroll in at least one course, and more importantly, it allows the student enough time to study. While the time it takes to finish the degree is longer, the student can complete and pass courses to eventually earn a degree.
Whether an individual decides to attend school full or part time, he or she has options and support in completing their educational programs.
- If the degree is in the field the student works in, some companies allow their employees to attend school during work hours. Also, if the student works full-time for a company, they should enquire whether the company offers scholarship programs that will pay for their tuition and books.
- Students should seek help from student services. Many colleges provide support services that aid students that have children by providing childcare.
- Most colleges and universities have financial aid programs that provide support either through grants or loans, so students can study instead of work.
- Students seeking a degree in a particular subject should also consider flexible class schedules. As stated previously, many online universities offer month-long, accelerated courses that culminate in a degree in half the amount of time a traditional college education would take. Most traditional colleges offer night classes as well, in addition to six-eight week courses, for those who need to finish quickly.
Earning a college degree requires a real commitment to study. In many ways, going to school is a full-time job. Combine that with a hectic lifestyle that involves children and a spouse, and one can understand why pursuing a degree would seem overwhelming. Today, many options for a person seeking a degree exist. Whether a person decides online education best suits their lifestyle or whether part-time or full-time study best suits their needs, today’s collegiate environment has grown from a cold, intimidating one to an inviting one that encourages and supports all students from every walk of life.