Nervous to go back to school online? Read this!
You may think that if you go to school online instead of on campus, you’ll be missing out on having a student and school community. Luckily for you, this isn’t true! Guild and the institutions in your employer’s catalog have worked hard to foster an interactive, encouraging, and personalized peer, instructor, and school community.
Read on to see how you can have school pride, get to know your peers, and join your student community through online schooling. Don’t believe us? Listen to your fellow students!
“I have made so many friends through Brandman, so many people I have had several classes with, and we’ll still talk to each other…I have never met those people in my life — I have never seen pictures of some of them, I have just seen texts or whatever. But it’s so important and it’s so awesome how we can still be a community, be a team, be a support group like we are.” — Genesis P., Brandman University
Q: Will I feel alone?
A: Though it’s your education journey, you’re not traveling by yourself. We’ve taken deliberate steps to build community and ensure that you don’t feel alone:
- Many of the institutions in your employer’s catalog offer various online student unions, clubs, organizations, and lounges.
- Beyond open communication with your class instructors, many schools also have academic advisors and tutors.
- Guild’s team of knowledgeable coaches are available to provide personalized support and help you achieve success.
- Guild’s student Facebook groups facilitate opportunities to connect with and encourage other working adult students all across the country.
“You’ll have a cheerleader on the sideline when things get tough…a support system, maybe the Guild counselor or the advisor, somebody you know from your home, other associates. On Facebook, there’s different forums — it’s constant encouragement…It’s just little inspirational tidbits, quotes, pictures, testimonials from other students. You’re not the only one going through this. Somebody else has already been there, done that.” — Crystal F., Bellevue University
Q: Who’s there to help me?
A: You have many people who’ll be there to support you and help you with your courses, questions, and the specifics of going to school online:
- For technological issues or concerns, most institutions have a technology help desk or 24-hour tech support center.
- For academic and career pathing help, you’ll have access to some or all of the following through your institution — online writing centers, online math centers, free academic tutoring, career service centers, academic advisors, accessibility centers, online libraries, wellness resources, and online bookstores.
- Don’t forget about coaching through Guild! Our expert coaches are prepared to assist you on your return to school. Depending on your program, your coach can provide support on everything from picking a program and tracking down transcripts to time management tips, crushing your courses, and more.
“I had a goal to set and my student advisor, I mean, she was the best…I had meltdown days, and she was there to coach me through them…And even though I never met Anna face-to-face, it was like she was always there with me. Anytime I called, if I called and she didn’t answer, she would call right back. I mean, she became one of my angels.” — Janice K., Penn Foster High School
Q: How do I get in touch with my professors/instructors online?
A: To connect with your instructor and get support or direction (or just have a conversation!), send them an email, reach out in an appropriate discussion board post, or participate in online office hours. Your instructor may have preferred methods of communication; check your course syllabus for guidelines, or ask your instructor how they’d prefer to be contacted.
“I have communication with my professor. We have very engaging conversations back and forth…She was very supportive of what I was doing. So that was something that you don’t expect in online classes, but you know that if there is something that happens, you still have that support with your professor.” — Dhanesh P., Bellevue University
Q: Will I feel school pride?
A: Whether you feel school pride is up to you and how excited you allow yourself to be about returning to school — but yes, many online students feel school pride! This can be elevated through something as simple as getting your student ID card or some school swag, or as immense as attending your graduation at the end of your program. Build school pride by:
- Interacting with peers, instructors, and faculty at your school through online student unions, service centers, and more.
- Communicating with students in your courses through discussion posts and group assignments.
- Joining your Guild student Facebook group with others attending your institution to experience and engage with your student community.
“I am just over-the-top excited. When I got my Brandman ID card — I was the nerd and went on to get a college ID card — and I got it in the mail, and it’s showing proudly in my wallet, right beside my ID because I’m so proud of it…This is just the beginning.” — Nancy J., Brandman University
You can still get to know your peers and have that sense of community and school pride when attending school online. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of an academic community!
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