Although it has only become widely popular over the last 10 years, distance learning education has been available for almost 100 years. While the Internet becomes more readily available, gaining a degree is a possibility for almost anyone in the world. Still, students are not sure if gaining an online degree is the right choice for them. How much will it cost? Will they get a real degree? Are they going to be able to continue working while they learn?
These are sensible questions. Since Aston American University is dedicated to help working professionals gain degrees that will allow them to achieve their career and life goals, we want to make sure that our university is right for you. Although anyone can be successful in an online degree program, there are a few key personality traits we have observed in our happiest students.
- Self-Motivation: Students must drive their own success. Students who do well in online degree programs are able to know what they need to do each day, closely follow a syllabus, and overcome technical difficulties (often with the help of Aston American University support staff) in order to get work turned in on time and receive full credit for their courses.
- Time-Management: Online courses have the distinct benefit of being done on available time. Although that gives students time to work and care for family, it also means that excellent time management skills are necessary in order to get coursework done each day. Since there is no physical class to attend on campus, students must make and adhere to their own school schedule. To fully experience online learning, students will need to dedicate the time to study.
- Attention to Detail: Reading all documentation carefully and making notes of important dates are vital for each course and overall study program. Since there are very few outside reminders about assignments and due dates, it is crucial that students clearly read all directions and follow the course syllabus carefully. It is easy to overlook key information that could have a lasting effect on grades and overall grade point average.
- Access to Technology: Access to the Internet is the first and most important element for completing an online degree program. This is required for interacting with courses online and completion of assignments and research elements. Students need access to a computer with a word processing program (i.e., Microsoft Word). For a complete list of system requirements, please contact our academic advisors.
- Communication Skills: In a nontraditional classroom setting, communication skills are important in order for students to succeed in an online degree program. Successful students practice effective communication skills with active participation in classroom message boards, questions and responses to professors are emailed in a timely manner, and discussions of potential issues are conducted in a non-confrontational and respectful way.