Graduate and adult education can be tough. If you’ve recently gone back to school for an advanced degree or you’re considering doing so, a coach can help with a myriad of questions and provide a list of best practices that will make your endeavor successful. The stress of being in college when you have little to no other real responsibilities is challenging enough. Add to that the responsibilities of family and work, not to mention other extra curricular activities, and it is easy to see why so many start the process but fail to finish.
I went to college straight from high school, just as expected, and found the experience to be, well, an experience. I had a ball in college and wouldn’t trade it in. I made a few huge mistakes but I also learned a lot of valuable lessons. When you’re in your late teens and early 20s, you can get away with quite a bit more than when you’re in your mid-30s or older. After my bachelor’s I went straight back for a master’s degree. Both of these were on a traditional campus but I also helped develop a hybrid online course in business and professional communication.
Years later, I went back to get additional graduate degrees, two in fact, from programs offered online. Friend, I can tell you straight up that if you think for one minute that online education is “easy,” “a gimme,” or some sort of “mail-in diploma,” you got another think coming! Online education is nothing like being on a traditional campus. Traditional campuses offer intangible resources that you take for granted; like seeing your professor on a near daily basis, hearing the tone, inflection, and seeing the body language of your instructor and other students during discussions, real-time feedback, and a host of others. Online programs on the other hand demand that you are, first and foremost, a self-starter, committed and dedicated to managing your time and putting in your work without having to be babysat or constantly checked up on.
Online education requires much more strategy, creativity, and intentionality than campus programs. In my experience (and that of my wife), online education is much more challenging than traditional campus. The reason should be clear. Online programs are more demanding, not because of content necessarily, but because of the freedom you have to blow it off! When you’re on campus, everybody is associated with the school as an administrator, instructor, student, or support staff. All day every day you’re around the atmosphere of the program. Even the town is known as a “college town” and that keeps the university at the forefront of your mind. Not the case with online education. There, you’re at home, sequestered, with the familiar surroundings and responsibilities of being at home, having a job, children, spouse, ect. Often times it’s the very family you’re trying to gain an advantage for that actually gets in the way of making progress.
For some reason, online education has gotten a reputation for being easy, unchallenging, and quickly attained with little to no effort. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority of online students are non-traditional, working adults who already have a host of daily responsibilities. Managing all this plus making room for school and being successful at it can be overwhelming. A coach who shares your experience and perspective can be a God-send. I’ve been a student on traditional campuses, in online programs, and I’ve been an instructor. I can help you navigate through the backroads of successful graduate and adult education experiences. Important note: academic coaching is not tutoring or training in specific subjects. It is coaching that assists with the planning and completion of academic goals, time management, and high performance.