Follow Christ, Lead the Way

“I know that I want to pursue an online degree, but what are some of the things I should I consider?”  If this question sounds familiar, rest assured that you are not alone. Many aspiring students ponder whether one online program over another will offer a leg-up advantage in their career pursuits.

The cornerstone of most online programs is their flexible schedule, however, all online programs are not alike. There are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that offer certifications and there are postsecondary degrees, which the data shows most employers still prefer for their employees. 

First things first, what should I consider in an online program? Here are 5 top things to consider:

  • Mission of the university
  • Pace of schoolwork and course completion
  • Navigation platform
  • Support
  • Competitive/Competition

The Mission of the university should be one of the first things to consider in your choice.  What does the university stand for?  Is their mission and core values something you want to be attached to?  Remember, once you complete your degree, you will be associated with the school from which you earned your degree.

The pace of schoolwork and course completion is a big factor due to the complexity of individual lives.  Everyone learns at a different pace.  Does the course offer flexibility in a pace at which you can go?  Meaning, can you finish your work quickly if you want or take a few days if you want?  Do you have the flexibility to complete your schoolwork in the morning or evening if you choose?  Data shows that being able to work at your pace within the structure of the university, greatly increases your chances of success. Ask yourself, (1) what are my learning strengths, what are my learning weaknesses and (2) what time of day can I focus the most? 

The platform should be user friendly.  Most of your time should be spent on the schoolwork itself not navigating the platform.  If the platform is tough to navigate, this can be a deterrent to the student experience.  Online platforms should be able to handle complexity but deliver it in a simple straightforward way.

Support is a major consideration in an online program or the university offering it.  The two (2) major supports to consider are IT (Internet Technology) tech support and student support.  If you need help, how easy is it to get to someone?  Is the university a “student first” environment?  Studies show having a good student to teacher ratio helps when you need to reach out.  Is the instructor/coach response time quick?  These are all good questions to ask and consider, making sure you will have the support you need when it is needed.

Competition is a factor that many students don’t consider high on their list of requirements.  If you are going to take a course, wouldn’t it make sense to ensure you are going to be competitive in the field you are pursuing?  Is the value for the course competitive to others?  See what the university offers to help make you competitive in the workforce.  Another factor to consider is if the university offers networking opportunities.  Value and competition are very broad and can mean different things to different people.  When choosing a university and program to take online, make sure it meets your standards of value and competitive.

Hopefully this article brings clarity to choosing an online program and university. To learn more about the Online programs at Ohio Christian University, feel free to email the Admissions Department at ags@ohiochristian.edu. Let OCU help bring a Christian World View to your online experience.

 

Phil Hooks, Th.M.
Vice President of Enrollment

 

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU MBA Ranks 5th in Central Ohio  image

OCU MBA Ranks 5th in Central Ohio

OCU MBA Ranks 5th in Central Ohio  image

Published: December 15, 2015

Ohio Christian University now ranks fifth in Central Ohio for MBA programs according to a recent release from Columbus Business First. The announcement came as a part of Columbus Business First’s annual MBA Program List release, which ranks Central Ohio schools based on Fall enrollment numbers. OCU moved up three spots from 2014.  To view the full list, click here. If you’re looking for a career boost, an MBA from Ohio Christian University provides the leaders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a competitive business environment. The program
Ohio Christian University now ranks fifth in Central Ohio for MBA programs according to a recent release from Columbus Business First. The announcement came as a part of Columbus Business First’s annual MBA Program List release, which ranks Central Ohio schools based on Fall enrollment numbers. OCU moved up three spots from 2014.  To view the full list, click here. If you’re looking for a
Ohio Christian University now ranks fifth in Central Ohio for MBA programs according to a recent release from Columbus Business First. The announcement came as a part of Columbus Business First’s
OCU Graduate Romy Nos and Family

Romy Nos on the OCU Experience

OCU Graduate Romy Nos and Family

Published: August 31, 2015

What did you like best about attending OCU? I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with other men and women who are passionate about their faith and their studies, and I loved how the professors truly cared about their subject matter and us as students. What program/location were you enrolled in? Masters in Ministry (Pastoral Counseling Program) onsite campus in Circleville Was there a class or professor that impacted your life? Professor Bill Ury (Theology of John Wesley) - He truly made Theology a delight to learn, and I could tell that he truly lives by what he believes.
What did you like best about attending OCU? I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with other men and women who are passionate about their faith and their studies, and I loved how the professors truly cared about their subject matter and us as students. What program/location were you enrolled in? Masters in Ministry (Pastoral Counseling Program) onsite campus in Circleville Was there a
What did you like best about attending OCU? I enjoyed rubbing shoulders with other men and women who are passionate about their faith and their studies, and I loved how the professors truly
10 Must Have Tips for Adults Going Back to School image

10 Must Have Tips for Adults Going Back to School

10 Must Have Tips for Adults Going Back to School image

Published: July 21, 2015

So you’ve finally committed to start the journey to get your college degree or to finish the degree program you started years ago - before life got in the way. Balancing school, a job, and a family is tough for anyone. These 10 tips are a must to making the transition seamless. 1.     Build your support network.  Making sure your family is onboard - and that they understand your goals and why you want to do this - is important. It’s like any goal; when you have others who are there to support and encourage you, your success rate will be higher. Talk with your family about the
So you’ve finally committed to start the journey to get your college degree or to finish the degree program you started years ago - before life got in the way. Balancing school, a job, and a family is tough for anyone. These 10 tips are a must to making the transition seamless. 1.     Build your support network.  Making sure your family is onboard - and that they understand your goals
So you’ve finally committed to start the journey to get your college degree or to finish the degree program you started years ago - before life got in the way. Balancing school, a job, and a family
More Than a Job image

More Than a Job

More Than a Job image

Published: July 9, 2015

With the economic state of the United States as is, it would be an understatement to say that a majority of the populace is intently focused on securing employment. As an adult, it is a crucial part of being responsible. However, in adapting to the daily routine of work and family, we can often get trapped in an obligatory mindset, only thinking of our job as a means to an end.Marilyn McFarlin, a full-time foster parent and babysitter from Pennsylvania, had initially begun her career with this mindset. She loved serving young kids and found it fulfilling; however, she recognized the
With the economic state of the United States as is, it would be an understatement to say that a majority of the populace is intently focused on securing employment. As an adult, it is a crucial part of being responsible. However, in adapting to the daily routine of work and family, we can often get trapped in an obligatory mindset, only thinking of our job as a means to an end.Marilyn
With the economic state of the United States as is, it would be an understatement to say that a majority of the populace is intently focused on securing employment. As an adult, it is a crucial
New 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree Saves Time and Money for OCU Students image

New 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree Saves Time and Money for OCU Students

New 3-Year Bachelor’s Degree Saves Time and Money for OCU Students image

Published: June 12, 2014

A three-year bachelor’s degree will be offered next academic year at OCU. Those in the Business program can elect to take a sequence of classes to earn 18 credits per semester and six credits per summer, 120 credits total, in only three years! Earning a bachelor’s degree in three years saves a year of tuition and residence hall expenses, and allows entrance into the workforce or graduate school a year earlier. It gives other students the opportunity to pursue a dual major, to spend time studying abroad, or to complete an internship.A 3-year degree provides a high-quality, low-cost
A three-year bachelor’s degree will be offered next academic year at OCU. Those in the Business program can elect to take a sequence of classes to earn 18 credits per semester and six credits per summer, 120 credits total, in only three years! Earning a bachelor’s degree in three years saves a year of tuition and residence hall expenses, and allows entrance into the workforce or graduate
A three-year bachelor’s degree will be offered next academic year at OCU. Those in the Business program can elect to take a sequence of classes to earn 18 credits per semester and six credits per