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in - 13 Sep, 2010
by Don Miller - one comment

Regardless of the type of degree or course being studied, being successful in earning online continuing education credits requires several things. In this article, we wanted to provide some realistic tips on making the journey more successful but also more enjoyable. After all, learning should be a positive experience and while an online and traditional education share many factors, definite differences are seen, as well.

For starters, if interested in completing online continuing education credits toward your degree, self-discipline is needed. Although online education provides schedule flexibility, which is one of the many benefits, to complete a degree requires consistent work and dedication toward earning credits. Therefore, even if you only work on the online continuing education credits an hour or two a day, being diligent in getting the work done comes from discipline.

To be 100% certain that earning online continuing education credits is the best route for you and to be able to schedule time so you are moving in a forward direction at any pace, we recommend you begin with just a few of the easier courses. By starting out easy, you will also feel less overwhelmed, which in turn would make you feel more confident about the decision to earn a college degree online. As you become more comfortable with this notion and find a schedule and pace for your lifestyle, taking the more demanding coursework would become easier.

In addition, regardless of the degree or course of interest, make sure you are always enrolled in a minimum of one class per semester, preferably more but without overloading your schedule. While a single course each semester would take you much longer to graduate, it would provide you with more available time. That way, you are not sitting idle just dreaming about earning online continuing education credits but doing something about achieving the goal. For stay-at-home parents or those working full-time, this would be a great way of getting started.

Because the goal in earning online continuing education credits is supposed to make the educational journey less stressful and more convenient, it would be to your advantage to invest in a good computer and high-speed internet. Today, good computers can be purchased for less than $600 and most internet providers only offer high-speed connections. While you would need to make an initial investment, being able to connect to the college or university website with no effort would support the overall concept of distance learning.

Of course if you were taking courses from an online college or university, chances are good that no brick and mortar campus exists near your home or at all. However, if you decide to attend a educational institution that does have a campus nearby, it would be to your advantage of taking a tour. However, if all coursework would be completed online, you should still contact the admissions office to discuss important issues and make sure all your questions have been answered. This would help you identify if the institution is right for you but also help you become familiar with people and procedures.

Next, working with a counselor, professor, or someone from the admissions office, or even doing it on your own, it would be extremely helpful to create an action plan. With this, all of the coursework associated with earning online continuing education credits would be clearly defined. Having an action play would make it easier to keep to scope and timelines so that ultimately, you graduate with top grades. In addition, a good action plan would help you stay on top of deadlines, on-campus lab work, crash exams, and other harder to plan scenarios.

Today, most companies honor people deciding to go back to college and as a reward, they provide some type of incentive. For instance, a company may have a tuition reimbursement program or they may have an established advancement program whereby after an employee completes all online continuing education credits that result in a degree, that individual would have opportunity to move up the ladder within the company. However, it would also be important to inform your employer that you are going back to school so you have the needed support and understanding of unexpected schedule changes.

Just as with any type of high education, it would be imperative to consider all viable options. After all, colleges and universities may appear to offer the same caliber curriculum from the outside but once you begin investigating options, you would clearly see differences, some good, and some bad.  There are plenty of great options as well as others that do not measure up quite as well.The internet provides a wealth of information that makes the research process quick and easy. Although many things would be important such as cost of tuition, types of degrees, exact coursework, etc, one of the most critical aspect of earning online continuing education credits would be to consider only fully accredited educational

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  • Sheila Terry //07 Sep 2011

    I am a cosmetology educator in Topeka, Kansas & need continuing education credit hours in teaching methodology. Can you help me?