Because academic advisor’s and recruiters are often more aimed at getting students to attend the online school they represent it’s a good idea to get a different perspective. You can ask to talk with the instructor that will be teaching the course you plan on taking. This will help you get a more realistic picture of what’s expected, the class content and more.

If you receive resistance when you ask to speak to an instructor you may let them know you’re also investigating other online institutions so they feel a sense of urgency. If a teacher is not available to talk with prospective students it may not be much better once you become a student. A good institution will encourage their instructors to interact with you. After all, they want you to attend their school.

When you are able to talk with a teacher ask them some or all of the following questions.

What are teacher requirements? Some institutions may train their teachers, while others will require a certain degree or certification from their instructors. If an emphasis is not placed on experience in the given field you may be better off looking elsewhere.   A professor that has experience in the field can help you understand the practical application of the subject. They can also help you identify how to spot good opportunities and how to prepare for them.

How much work is this class? Grades are often a reflection of met teacher expectations. Make sure you understand what’s expected before you commit.

How available are you and the other professors? Students learn best when they can ask questions & get quick responses, even if it is to be directed into a general direction to begin their own search. If the instructors are too busy to respond quickly you may find yourself stalling in your studies. There is nothing worse that feeling stuck. Make sure that teachers regularly get back with students within a day or two, maybe even less if it’s an accelerated class.

Follow up with, What avenues are available for help? If there aren’t clear ways for students to get help with technical issues, course questions, career guidance and learning support it may be an indication that their process for these things are weak and may fail when you need to utilize them. You can also ask what their professor’s opinion of these resources are, though keep in mind that they are likely to be fairly loyal to their institution.

Getting an instructor’s view of the courses and program can be very helpful. It may also give you an idea if you are going to get along and be able to learn well from them. It’s so easy to skip this step when considering online colleges, but taking it can give you quit a different feel for the program. Don’t wait until the first day of class to realize that you’ve made the right choice or a big mistake. Good luck!

Comments are closed.