So you got accepted to your online university of choice huh? Well, now what? I know it seems like there’s so many steps and like there’s no end, but you’re almost there (ready to sign up and get ready for classes that is). It’s important to take some time before jumping into whatever classes you want to check with your advisor. Sometimes the classes logistics make not as straight forward as it may seem it should be.

Picture your academic plan like putting destination coordinates into a GPS. It’s not that difficult to get from point A to point B if you have direction. Sure it still request that you get in the car and drive, but the lovely British lady that’s the voice of your GPS is going to help you turn when you need to turn and (ideally) avoid any unnecessary detours. If you take time to sit down with your advisor you can save yourself a lot of headaches in days to come.

There are a couple different things that could cause detours that you should be aware of, that help to underscore the importance of creating an academic plan and checking in with your advisor each semester before registering for classes to make sure everything is in order. One detour happens when you need to take a certain class before you can take a follow up class. This is the case for example with many math and English classes. The higher level classes often build on what you learn in the lower level courses. So registering on your own, you may figure this out eventually, and there are often computer checks against registering for classes for which you haven’t met the required prerequisites, but avoid the headache and talk to an advisor to create your plan

Another problem that you could run into, even in an online university setting, is full enrollment. If a class for whatever reason (this is more likely with those classes that are teacher led) is filled to capacity you  are going to need to rearrange your schedule and perhaps your plan.

One other thing that could derail you from your anticipated plan is a class that is only offered at certain times of year. This is most common in classrooms that are teacher facilitated, but can happen too in the online world. You may also run into a class that is only offered at the same time another class is. Because this is a common problem in the offline world, some designers of online courses and universities have tried to eliminate that problem by offering all classes at all times. This is possible when you record a lecture say, or have a course that is automated like a slideshow or something to that effect.

These are some reasons you will want to make sure that you check with your academic advisor and have them help you create your academic plan so that your online university experience will be a successful one and not too terribly frustrating. 🙂 Good luck as always and work hard.

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