Distance Learning — A Personal Perspective

I’ve been there. I’ve done it. It’s easy to post facts and figures about distance learning, but if you’re here reading this site that means you’re already interested. And you’re doing due diligence and collecting the facts and figures which you should be doing. But just to be different, let me tell you a little about me and my experience with distance learning.

Book shelf, photo by EvelynGiggles

I had a two year AA degree already when I started at the University of Florida to finish up my Bachelors degree. But I got a decent job, fell into a working life, and stopped taking classes. A few years later, I still had a good job, and now had a wife and child. And then another child. At this point my job had topped out, and my primary concern was the children, so I quit my job, took up full-time fatherhood, and started taking on-line courses to finish that never-completed Bachelors.

It was not easy. I still had a part-time job at nights, and between that, the kids, and the wife, there wasn’t a lot of time. Fortunately, the flexibility of the distance learning program (through Lynn University), I was able to tackle my studies late at night, and do some reading during the odd quiet moments during the day.

For me, it worked. For me, it wouldn’t have worked any other way. With the kids, and work, there was absolutely no way I ever could have gone back to a brick-and-mortar school. Beyond the class costs, I would have had to find a pay a sitter for every class (not easy) and if I wanted to take night classes I wouldn’t have been able to work part time, so how would those classes get paid for? The time to go to college full-time as a lifestyle is when you are fresh and young and not tied down with so many of life’s responsibilities.

Once you get to my age, there simply isn’t a way to attend a traditional class.

Instead, I got to work at my own pace (up to a point – these were eight-week long condensed courses, which didn’t leave much time to play catch up if you fell behind). I got to put my family first, and still keep education a high priority. I could access the class information, posting board, and test sessions from any computer, which was great if I went on vacation, or to the library.

I didn’t go full-time every semester. If money was tight, I would only take one or two classes instead of a full load. It was fully customizable, to my schedule and my wallet. Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t cheap. No college education is cheap, and paying for an on-line degree is no laughing matter.  But since on-line schools don’t tend to pressure you into a quicker graduation like traditional schools, that does take off a bit of pressure. You know the cost of credit hours up front, and you plan accordingly.

This is just one man’s personal opinion, but I am all about some distance education!

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