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Questions to Ask Before You Start an Online Program

Have you been thinking about going back to school? Online programs can be a convenient option to help you achieve the degree or certification you want to advance your career or start a new one. But before you commit to a program, you should decide whether an online program is the best route for you.

Here are questions to ask the school before you start an online program.

 

How Will the Program Fit With My Work Schedule?

If you work, it can be tough to fit in traditional classes, especially if they are during typical business hours. But online programs are great for adults who have jobs because they give you more flexibility to make school work with your schedule. You can usually do schoolwork whenever it’s convenient for you, whether that’s at night after the kids go to bed, on your lunch break, or any other time that you have to yourself. In fact, more than 80% of online students are employed.

How Structured Are the Classes?

Depending on how self-motivated you are, the answer to this question may be really important to you. Because you won’t be in an actual classroom, it’ll be up to you to schedule class work, complete assignments, and take tests in a timely manner. You’ll still have due dates for homework and projects, and you may be expected to participate in discussions online and it will be up to you to fit it all together. Read the student handbook and ask about the assignment load and due dates to help you decide if online is for you. If you don't think you’ll set aside the necessary time for your schoolwork, you might benefit from more traditional courses in a classroom where the teachers are more likely to hold you accountable and check in with you in-person.

Is It OK That I’ve Already Taken Some College Courses?

Sometimes you start school but life gets in the way. If you have taken college courses before, think about why you didn’t complete your degree or certificate program. Maybe other priorities popped up or it just wasn’t the right time for you. Now, an online program could be the ideal way to fit school into your life. Check with the school to see what credits might be transferrable to your new program. Even if you only have a high school diploma or a GED, online programs are great way to take a next step toward a new career.

What Kind of Support Is Available?

Just because you won’t meet with your teachers in-person in an online program doesn’t mean they aren’t ready to help you when you need it. Teachers for online programs should still be available to answer questions and provide support. Charter College requires online students to complete an orientation to ensure that you know what to expect, and you can also ask technical questions through the Online Course Support Center.

Do I Need to Be Tech Savvy?

Online education programs are continually being improved upon to make them easy for any student to succeed. While you don’t need to be a technology wiz, you should be familiar with the basics. You’ll also need a reliable computer, good Internet access, and Microsoft Office, and there will be other basic system requirements that your computer needs to meet. Before you start an online program, find out what the technology requirements are.

 

If you think an online or blended program is for you, contact Charter College today at 888-200-9942 and learn about our online training options in Business, Health Care, Trades, and Information Technology.