When adults—especially moms and dads—think about going back to school, many see no way to squeeze college into their hectic routines. But it is possible—and we’re here with tips for success in online courses. Attending college online helps with that time crunch. Not having to commute to a campus saves adult students several hours per week. These stolen hours can then be applied to home study time. Truth is, the average working American has about 30 hours of free time per week. That’s right: 30 hours. The key is learning how to manage your time tightly.
Perhaps you were class president in high school. Or perhaps you were a member of the honor society. You could have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; perhaps you were even valedictorian. Maybe your were in the honors program or the International Baccalaureate program. Actually, it doesn't really matter what you did in high school as you make the transition to college. High school success (or lack of it) doesn't automatically apply to college.
If you have friends in your classes, you may want to consider holding a study group every week. Here, you can bounce ideas and questions off of each other so that you can better understand the material. Everyone learns in different ways, so you may learn some test-taking strategies from your classmates. Study groups are especially helpful for college students, especially when going over a study guide for an upcoming test.
Before you apply to an online program, make sure you know what online learning is all about. It’s not for everyone! Is face-to-face interaction with teachers and classmates important to you? Some students find they learn better in a physical classroom while others are comfortable learning independently. How good are you at managing your time? Online learning requires high autonomy and high accountability.
The most common culprit of free time is TV. Most adults spend about 20 hours per week watching TV. We are not saying you should never watch TV; we’re suggesting that you give up watching the TV shows that do not really interest you. Free up your time. Record what you love for viewing on demand and nix the rest of that dead TV time. Reducing your TV time by 10 hours per week will result in 10 hours of free time to devote to your online education. Ten hours of free time per week is enough to complete that long-delayed dream of earning a college degree.
Form a Parent Pool with Fellow Online Students Many online students attend local colleges. If that’s you, this means your fellow online students likely live close to you—and they may be parents, too. Tap those connections. Ask people in your class if they want to start a parent pool. You could watch your classmate’s kids on Wednesday nights when she has calculus in exchange for her watching your kids during your Monday night computer programming course.
The SCTOD data provides patient survival estimates for a disease at a specific center and also develops summary slides of outcomes data. The Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Indications and Outcomes page will also show the disease-specific indications and outcomes, as well as comparison of HCT outcomes and trends by age, disease stage, and transplant type.  Use the… Read More »
If you have children, you’ll need to plan for their care when you return to college. For most working adults, the option of professional childcare is an expensive one. Moreover, most professional daycare centers are not open weekends or late at night, the times when most adults are in classes. Be creative when scouting for childcare options. Use these tips for success.

Strive to become Benjamin Franklin 2.0. Our founding sage’s morning question was “What good shall I do this day?” and dinner question was “What good have I done today?” Just imagine if he’d had Google Calendar to plan his whole day out... In general, use technology to your advantage. Find an effective system to manage and sort your email because otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed.
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Since a large part of online coursework will be in written form, there is an opportunity to submit well-written, polished work that will positively impact your grades. Good grammar and correct punctuation will help convey your message accurately, and it’s always a good idea to be clear and concise in your writing. I suggest reading Write to the Point by Bill Stott for direction in good writing.
A good understanding of the coursework and expectations of the professors is crucial to passing and making good grades in any given course. Since in-person communication is not an option, make use of email, chats, forums, and other formats to communicate with fellow students and professors if you have any questions and need any clarification. In this way you can avoid misunderstandings from the outset, greatly enhancing your online college success.
A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven't heard the jokes about college food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or cookies. Stay healthy and avoid the dreaded extra "Freshman 15" pounds by sticking to a balanced diet.
For us onlooking or partaking upperclassmen, that feeling isn’t too distant. As a freshman, the sense of being lost in a big new world was exciting, but at the same time I treasured every bit of advice I could get. And there are still many things I wish I would have known then. Now that I’m a few years older, I thought I’d share some thoughts. More importantly, I went around and asked some of the most accomplished Penn students for what recommendations they’d give to freshmen.
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