Online education reshaping college experience - Metro US

Online education reshaping college experience

For many working Americans, the career-family juggle is simply part of everyday life—so much so that the idea of finishing a bachelor’s degree may feel like nothing more than a dream.

But earning a college degree can come with some serious advantages.
According to a 2014 Pew Research Center report, Americans aged 25 to 32 who have a college degree make about $17,500 more per year than those with just a high school diploma. In addition to the wage disparity, it appears that higher education is also linked to some pretty noteworthy health benefits. According to the CDC, people with a bachelor’s degree live almost a decade longer than those who don’t finish high school.
Despite the benefits, many working adults may believe that they don’t have the time to complete a degree. Thanks to innovative online education programs, people no longer need to give up their jobs or lose out on family time to further their education. In fact, a wide array of sought-after bachelor’s degree programs can be completed 100 percent online—making them particularly attractive to career changers and those reentering school after taking time off.
Online learning is an ideal fit for a number of reasons. Perhaps the biggest draw is the accessibility with which students can complete a degree. Instead of being confined to set-in-stone course and lecture times, they have the ability to shape their educational experience around the other demands in their lives.
Taking the online route doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the perks that come with on-campus learning. The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS), for example, provides plenty of opportunities for students to feel deeply connected to their experience.
“Using the discussion boards on Blackboard truly integrates many aspects of being part of a community by being able to clearly share my thoughts and opinions on a subject. It helps me connect with my fellow classmates in the fastest and easiest way,” says Lauren Lerma, a student in the BS in Business online degree program at CUNY SPS.
Lerma also adds that all of their online degrees are exactly the same as if they’d been acquired on campus in traditional classrooms. In other words, they don’t come with an online distinction, which is a common misconception.
Regardless of where you attend, online education does require a certain level of accountability and commitment on the student’s part. (An online delivery model doesn’t necessarily make the program any less demanding.) On the contrary, students can often expect the same level of rigor and coursework that they’d find in a traditional classroom setting; it’s just that students are able to complete their degrees off campus.
For working parents, this might translate to completing coursework from their living rooms after putting their kids to bed. For others, it may be settling in at a coffee shop on Saturday afternoons to zero in on school work.
If completing a bachelor’s degree is on your bucket list, CUNY SPS invites you to attend a comprehensive information session being held on October 14 at 6:00 pm at their Midtown Manhattan campus (119 W. 31st Street). This is the best way to learn all about how finishing an online degree can build your skills, jumpstart your job mobility, and put you on a better professional path.

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