You might think most colleges use the same calendar you probably did in high school – go to class from August or September through May or June and take the summer off. But some schools, like Carrington College, offer students programs year-round.
Personally, I love the concept of year-round programs because I feel it allows students to stay focused on their studies. I’ve attended both year-round and traditional programs, and I remember feeling a little sluggish and not on my academic game when returning from summer break. I didn’t have to deal with that in my year-round studies.
Of course, there are pros and cons to everything, so we’re laying out the good and bad of attending a year-round school.
Some of the pros are:
Faster to Finish
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to start your education, you don’t want to wait. You’re excited for your future and ready to get started.
If you attend a year-round school, you’ll finish faster (and get to start that career you’ve been working toward)!
Easier to Stay Focused
Things tend to seem easier once you’re in a groove, and the same goes for your education. If you’re used to studying a certain number of hours each week, and going to class a certain number of hours each day, it isn’t a big deal to keep that momentum going. If you take three months off, it can be pretty tough to get back into the swing of things.
More Likely to Finish
The two points above definitely play into this one. Because you know how quickly your program can be completed, you’re more likely to stay on track and reach your goal. Let’s face it – a four year timeline can be intimidating, but being able to go from starting a certificate program to working in your field in under a year? That’s definitely doable.
To be fair…here are some of the cons:
No Extended Breaks
At Carrington College, we take major holidays off and get a two week break at the end of the year, but other than that you’re pretty much in school the whole year. If you’re used to having that extra time off, this one can make for a rough adjustment. But just think of it as training for the real world…you probably won’t get three months off from your career!
Summer Equals School
If you’re a parent going to school this one is probably a factor. Even when the kids have the summer off, you don’t. It might be worth looking into a school with online programs, that way you can do your classwork on your time (when the kids are busy or asleep).
Potential for Burnout
I’m not going to lie, it takes commitment to be successful in a fast-paced college environment. The potential for burnout is there, so it’s important to create a good balance of work, school and life. And if you do feel overwhelmed, ask for help. At Carrington, we have programs in place specifically to help students with just about everything.
Don’t just take my word for it! Call around, do some school shopping and ask your friends and family what they think. This is a huge life decision, and you want to make sure you’re comfortable with your choice.