With fall looming, schools across the nation are preparing for the flood of new, bright young minds. University classrooms are filling with young adults, in varying stages of autonomy, excited and vaguely nervous. Although the ages and subjects range, one common factor is a physical classroom with four walls, seats of some kind, and an instructor.
Welcome to a different type of classroom that has no motivational quotations or posters of kittens dangling precariously from tree branches!
There are a variety of reasons that people are turning to continuing their education from a distance. A quick web search brings up innumerable articles and stories (for example, New York Times, WorldWideLearn, NY Times Technology) that list fantastic reasons why enrolling in a course or two makes sense: becoming more marketable, moving into a higher pay bracket, delaying student loans, exploring new interests… There are also websites that explain all the benefits to distance education that aren’t available in most physical classrooms: the technological tools, increased student and teacher interaction, a community of nontraditional students from a range of experiences and places, the ability to attain a degree from an accredited university in another state, and, of course, an incredible amount of flexibility. In the end, learning at a distance is a great way to continue lifelong learning; and obviously not just content, but a lot of other ways of expanding yourself and life as well!
Even though we now know continuing your education is a sound investment in your future, we’re still left with some questions, not the least of which are “But WHAT’S the point? WHY do these classes? What will taking these classes accomplish, besides amassing a few more credit hours?”
One possible answer to these questions is simple: change. A chance to deviate from the current course, to switch paths.
Education offers unlimited opportunity in many facets of life. There is the opportunity to network and meet people, enhancing both your social and professional life. Taking an array of classes broadens your knowledge base, as well as potentially introduces new, unknown passions and interests. Having a degree and a base of knowledge provides more clout in the working world and opens doors that may have previously been weighted closed. Education is not just the “ends” of a degree, but a “means” to the life that you want to live. It means to ‘lead out’.
For everyone, the reasons for choosing distance education are highly personal and unique. Whatever brings you to our blog, we welcome you! We hope you find a place here with us and we would love to hear your stories about your journeys to us.