Self-paced online college degree at SNHU
It can seem daunting to embark on a new career or achieve your personal goals with an online degree, especially if you’ve never taken this route before. But don’t let that uncertainty hold you back.
Online learning does not try to replicate a traditional classroom setting, resulting in the need to be in the same place at a set time each week. Instead, as a student at an online university, you can still stick to your regular schedule. You can focus on your homework when it makes sense to you and at a pace that fits your life.
If you’re wondering how online classes work at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), you may be tasked with a combination of discussion posts, readings, academic papers, and other assignments on a weekly basis. Consistently scheduled due dates allow you to complete classes day or night, in chunks or piece by piece. Short stays – 8 weeks for undergraduate and 10 for master’s level – allow you to enroll in classes all year round, doubling up when you can or taking a semester off when you need it.
Here’s how six students showed that it’s possible to earn an online degree at your own pace.
Juggling schoolwork and family responsibilities
Many online students choose the non-traditional route because they have other obligations in their lives that make the on-campus experience an unrealistic option. For some people with full-time jobs and families, as well as others who just don’t live close enough to their colleges of choice, attending an online college allows them to earn an online degree on their own. rhythm.
For example, Tracey Burraston ’15 not only juggling a full-time job with the duties of a mother to her five children, but also the challenges of rural life. Despite these obstacles, she could still use her free time to tackle her online psychology degree in installments.
Although you may think you’ll be on your own in a virtual environment, that’s just one of the many misconceptions about online college courses. Throughout your online education, you can have a support team that includes an academic advisor, course instructors, peer tutors, and others who specialize in career services and financial aid.
Even when a snowstorm threatened to knock out her internet connection, Burraston’s academic advisor was there to make sure she could continue to work at her own pace to earn her degree online.
“Living in such a rural area, I really needed an online program that fit my life,” Burraston said. “(My counselor) immediately called me back. She was able to do whatever we needed to do to fix it. At that point, it was clear to me that SNHU was committed to my success.”
Get a degree in the military
For active duty military families like the Bryants, attending a physical school is often out of the question due to frequent moves, deployments and the demands of military life. Going to an online university meant that when Parker Bryant’19 was deployed overseas for seven months, he did not have to suspend his bachelor’s degree in video game art and development. He shared his situation with his instructors, who worked with him around his new schedule. “College really helped me make sure I could get things done on time, and actually, you know, gave me that leeway to do it,” he said.
While Parker was overseas, Jessica Bryant ’19 had to care for their five children under the age of 10 while she completed her criminal justice degree online. She said it was the most difficult period of her education, but her instructors were flexible. “They were so understanding and so willing to work with me,” she said. “…I couldn’t have done it without SNHU because they understood my life so much.”
Despite the deployment and later a permanent change of position from Georgia to Texas, the couple completed their studies together. “It’s so flexible these days going back to college,” Parker said.
Go to college and work full time
An on-campus degree program requires you to show up to class regularly, no matter what happens in the rest of your life. The flexibility of online learning can allow you to structure your lessons around what’s happening in your world.
When Elanna Rubenstein’ 20G decided to go back to school, she knew finding an online master’s program was her only option. As a cover producer for a major sports network, she said her job was fun but demanding. “Our mission is to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere,” she said. “That means working nights, weekends and holidays.”
After a coworker shared her positive experience at SNHU, Rubenstein signed up for the online master’s in communications and found she could fit her classwork into her schedule, no matter what she looked like this week. -the.
“I know my work-life balance during the (football) season is very different from the offseason, so learning how to balance school over long work weeks was a challenge at first,” she said. declared. But she adapted accordingly and went on assignments at times that made sense to her – even if it was early morning when she was traveling for a big game.
“For anyone who is considering going back to school but not sure if they can make it happen, I always say: take the plunge,” Rubenstein said. “Going back to school was not only the best decision for my professional development, but I felt a personal fulfillment that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.”
Finish a bachelor’s degree faster at an online university
Knowing how many credits you’ll need to graduate is crucial when planning your college schedule, as is deciding how many courses you can take per term. And, if you’ve already accumulated credits at another college, be sure to find a transfer-friendly university that has them in your current experience.
Latisha Aguilar ’21 attended college after high school, but she wasn’t sure what kind of career she wanted to pursue. Now, after becoming a mother of a child with special needs and gaining professional experience working with children, she has set her sights on a possible role as a college guidance counselor.
Aguilar transferred nearly 90 credits from previous experiences at SNHU and set to work completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a focus on child and adolescent development. The 8-week license course periods and flexible class schedules – as well as transferred credits – allowed her to progress faster through the program than she had anticipated.
“When I started studying at Southern New Hampshire University, I said I was going to take one course at a time, just to get an idea,” she said. “But…after the first trimester was over, I felt like I could do more.”
So she doubled down and completed her bachelor’s degree in two years, while raising four children and working full-time as a behavioral interventionist. “I’m just grateful because I feel like I’m just another step closer to reaching my goal,” Aguilar said.
She is now ready to start her master’s degree, the degree she will need to achieve her professional goals.
Take care of business, save time and money
Although a degree is an investment in your future, the cost can be difficult – and, in some cases, out of reach. When Blake Venable decided it was time to go back to school and complete his bachelor’s degree in accounting, he was ready to take out loans to pay for his education.
To his surprise, he didn’t have to.
“I started talking with a counselor, and saw that it was not only…affordable, (but) it was also something I could incorporate into what I was already doing,” said declared Venable. He decided he was going to do his best to pay for it out of pocket – and so far he has, allowing him to progress towards his degree, at his own pace, without further debt. .
“I never thought I could pay for my school myself as I went along,” he said.
Since Venable was able to fully transfer all of his associate’s degree credits when he started at SNHU, he cut his time to complete his bachelor’s degree in half, saving a lot of money as well.
The financial savings are important, as is his time. His work keeps him very busy; Venable owns three businesses and primarily focuses on his Monday-Friday career, leaving weekends for school work. That’s not to say he doesn’t fit in assignments during the week when he can. When time permits, he often works ahead so he can be ready if the demands of the job require extra attention.
“For me, flexibility is paramount,” Venable said. “Things are constantly changing in my world, so having a school like SNHU that’s so flexible…(it) allows me to work on things at any time.”
A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU online degree that can best help you achieve your goals.
Pamme Boutselis is an assistant, editor and senior director of content in higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn.