Top Ten Things the Prospective Online College Student Should Be Doing
#1 Research accreditation of prospective online universities – Just because a college is online, does not mean it is an accredited university. Be sure that the school has received accreditation from one of the 6 regional accrediting organizations in the US.
#2 Research financing options available – There are still employers offering to pay for employee education. There are many old and new loan programs available for students. You might want to consider military options or grants as well. It might be wise to check out trends in financing through collegeboard.com.
#3 Talk to your school counselor – Your counselor is one of the best resources you will have during your online experience. They can offer advice about possible degree and career choices. They can help you set up your schedules and answer many of the questions you may have about online learning.
#4 Brush up on your writing skills – If you have not been in school for a while, it is important to be sure you have strong spelling and grammar skills as well as a good understanding of paragraph and essay structure.
#5 Research APA – Most online universities require that students submit papers in APA format. Although they will teach you the specifics of these requirements, it would not hurt you to know the basics of APA before beginning courses.
#6 Research How to Avoid Plagiarism – The Internet offers so many resources to online students that it can be easy for many to not understand the rules of when and how to cite sources. Plagiarism is considered a very serious offense. One way to avoid it is to be knowledgeable of what it entails.
#7 Research Netiquette – If you have not had a lot of online experience, you may need to brush up on your netiquette skills. Netiquette is the combination of the words Internet and Etiquette. There are certain things that are considered rude such as TYPING IN ALL CAPS. The school will give you some guidance in this area, but it is a good idea to research what is proper.
#8 Set Goals – It is very important to have written, specific, measurable goals. Research how to set up meaningful goals that have measurable timelines in them for what you want to achieve with your education.
#9 Discover your preferences for learning – We all have different types of preferences when it comes to how we learn material. Do you learn the best when the material is verbal or visual? You might be a social learner or a solitary learner. By discovering your type, you can focus on learning by utilizing the information in the style or format that best fits your needs.
#10 Discover any roadblocks to your success so you can cover come them – Write down all of the reasons why you either think you might not succeed or have not succeeded in the past with your education. Next write down all of the solutions to these problems so that you will know how to confront them should they arise.