If you’re considering taking online classes, you’re in luck! Online learning offers numerous benefits, including flexibility and convenience. With remote classes, you have the freedom to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule, without the limitations of a traditional classroom setting.
For those in the military, such as active-duty personnel, those onboard a Navy ship, or stationed overseas, attending physical classes can be nearly impossible. However, online courses provide a solution, allowing you to work towards earning your degree while managing your military priorities.
General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Army Retired, once said, “There’s likely a place in paradise for people who tried hard, but what really matters is succeeding. If that requires you to change, that’s your mission.” So, if you’re looking to adapt to the changing times and prepare for a future that might involve more remote work and technology, online learning is a valuable option.
Why Pursue an Online Education?
Embarking on a higher education journey through online learning can be incredibly rewarding. Here are some reasons why you should consider pursuing an online education:
- Success Rate: With 24-hour support, online courses offer a high level of accessibility. You can easily get started on your courses and study from anywhere using a laptop or computer.
- Affordability: While there may be a time investment involved, the financial burden of online courses doesn’t have to be overwhelming. As a service member, you have the advantage of using Tuition Assistance, GI Bill, and other education benefits to help cover the costs.
- Faculty Accessibility: Online classes make it easy to connect with your instructors. If you have any questions or need clarification, you can typically reach out to your instructors directly through email.
- Technology and Teaching Capabilities: Online classes can be presented in various formats, including email correspondence, video streaming, website assignments, slide shows, and video conferencing. This ensures that you can find the learning style that suits you best.
- Customer Service: Schools offering online classes prioritize making the learning process easy for students. They are responsive and dedicated to helping you enroll in courses and progress towards graduation.
- Graduation Schedule: Most online degree programs can be completed in as little as 2-3 years, even when taking classes part-time.
Choosing the Right Online School
When selecting an online school, it’s important to do your research and find the right fit. Here are some factors to consider during your search:
- Know what degree or program you want to pursue and look for schools that offer the specific program you’re interested in.
- Ensure that the online school has regional accreditation. Depending on your intended degree, also look for program-specific accreditation, such as in education or nursing.
- Check the feedback from employers regarding graduates from the online school. Are these graduates in high demand?
- Consider the different formats of online classes available, such as instructor-led classes, independent study courses, or hybrid classes combining online and in-person sessions. Choose the format that aligns with your schedule and learning style.
- Explore the cost of tuition, but keep in mind that many online schools offer substantial financial aid. Opting for an accelerated program and foregoing the expenses of living on campus can also help reduce overall costs. Additionally, research which schools are approved for the use of your GI Bill.
- Find out the time commitments required for your desired classes. Determine how many hours per day and how many days per week you’ll need to attend class and ensure it fits into your schedule.
- If you’re pursuing a specific degree, make sure the program includes relevant certifications and adequately prepares you for any necessary licensure exams.
Developing Effective Study Skills for Online Learning
Online courses provide a great opportunity for soldiers who may not have access to physical classrooms. Whether you’re at sea, stationed at a remote duty location, or have additional career and family obligations, online learning allows you to work towards your degree or professional certifications from the comfort of your home. To succeed in online learning, it’s essential to develop good study habits and practices. Here are some tips:
- Designate a quiet study area free from distractions. This will help you stay focused when you sit down to do your coursework. Planning dedicated study sessions can make a significant difference in managing your education alongside other obligations.
Paying for Your Online Education
The concern of incurring debt often discourages individuals from pursuing higher education. However, paying for your online education doesn’t have to be an insurmountable hurdle. There are plenty of options available to help finance your education, including:
- Direct financial assistance
- Armed Forces Tuition Assistance
- VA Benefits
- Federal Student Aid
- Indirect financial assistance
- Military experience and training credits
- Credit by exam
Education is a right that should be accessible to everyone. Even if you have various other duties, such as military service, family commitments, or financial constraints, pursuing a college degree or acquiring additional skills through online learning is still possible. Now, more than ever, online learning is becoming increasingly prevalent, and many reputable institutions have years of experience delivering high-quality education to students worldwide.
At MAP EDU, we understand the value of online education and its potential to open doors for your future. Whether you’re considering a degree or seeking to enhance your skillset, we provide a curated list of our most important and popular articles on online learning, ensuring you’re mission-ready for the fast-evolving world around us.
To explore more about online learning and advance your education, visit MAP EDU today!