The 4th of July has just passed, yet most stores are now promoting Back to School sections. It might seem too early, but many adults are also considering a return to the classroom. In today’s economy, it’s important to refresh your skills, beef up your resume and possibly finish that degree you began many years ago.
President Obama is hoping to make that easier with his new American Graduation Initiative which he announced on July 14. He’s asked every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training and set a new national goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
There are more adult education programs today than there have ever been and that’s great news to anyone considering a return to college. TV, radio and billboard advertisements bombard us with options of returning to school.
Can these programs really work and fit into an already busy life? Are there means available to help pay for them? Yes, not only do these programs work, they are much more beneficial to the working adult than the traditional student.
Online programs are one option available to the working adult. These programs appeal to many because students are only required to meet in a physical classroom minimally if at all. This is quite attractive for those who frequently travel or would like to learn during odd hours. Don’t be misled, however. Online programs can often be much more demanding than traditional classes. You are not guaranteed immediate or in some cases even timely feedback from instructors. This may be frustrating and detrimental. You will be free to learn from the privacy of your own home, office, car or even while traveling overseas.
Accelerated programs are a fantastic option for those who are highly motivated and want to complete their degree as quickly as possible. Students may only need to commit to going to class one night a week and could complete an entire course in just five to eight weeks. Accelerated programs like these often require group collaboration on projects and move at a very rapid pace.
Blended programs offer the best of both the traditional and online classes. Many universities are including this hybrid as a way to entice would be students.
So if you have considered going back to school, now is the time.
Here’s the link to my segment on the Morning Blend discussing this topic: