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Carrington College Blog

How To Succeed as an Online Student

November 19, 2015

You want to go back to school, but don’t have time to spend in a classroom every day.

You want to learn on your time and you know you have the drive to do it. Sounds like online learning might be for you!

Carrington College Enrollment Services Representative Shaniqua Lewis not only helps students start their online education, she’s an online student herself!

“I chose online so I can schedule school around my other daily tasks. I also enjoy going at my own pace and going to class in the comfort of my own home in my pajamas,” she said.


Credit: Hannamariah/Shutterstock

Here are Shaniqua’s top 5 tips on how to succeed as an online student.

Time Management

To succeed as an online student you need to be an independent learner. There won’t be an instructor in front of you every day making sure you complete your assignments. It’s up to you to keep track of what’s due and when. Your online instructors will be there to support you along the way, but learning online means you need to motivate yourself.

Shaniqua recommends setting aside 10 to 15 hours a week for your school work. If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to stay on track.

Tech and Log-In Requirements

Evgeny Atamanenko

Credit: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

If you’re learning at home, you’ll need the tools to do it. To be a successful online student you need to have computer and internet access. It’s up to you where you choose to work – whether it’s at home or in a public library. You can use a desktop or laptop computer, whichever you prefer and as long as your internet speed is fast enough for you to log in and do your work, you’re good to go!

Now just because you aren’t required to go to class doesn’t mean you don’t have to show up, regularly. You have to log in three days a week to respond to your discussion questions. There isn’t a time limit, but you’ve got to get it done. You also need to log in to submit your homework assignment. It’s a way to keep you accountable and make sure you’re keeping up.

Be Proactive

You’re the boss here, and it’s up to you to succeed. Shaniqua says the best way to do that is to get your assignments done early rather than waiting until the day they’re due. Hey, life happens! You never know if you’ll get sick or your internet stops working. If you get in the habit of finishing your work early, you won’t have to worry about last minute hiccups.

Another way to make sure you’re on point is to connect with your instructors. You’ll have their phone numbers and email addresses, so use them! It’s important to reach out if you need help with assignments or have any questions. Remember, they’re the best resource you have. Even though you won’t see your instructors every day in the classroom, know they’re here for you.

Your instructors aren’t your only resource. You’ve got a whole team to help you succeed! On top of your instructor you have your online student support advisor, online tutoring and face-to-face tutoring on campus. You can also Ask-a-Librarian for help, and there are live class sessions available for students who need that interaction with an instructor.

Create a Schedule


Credit: faithie/Shutterstock

You’ll know in advance what’s due when, and it’s up to you to create a schedule to get your work done. Creating a daily schedule will help you stay on track. “If you work, make sure you create some time at least every other day to log into class to do your discussions and assignments. If you plan out your schedule in advance, you’ll be able to see what’s coming and plan life around your classwork,” Shaniqua said.

Set Personal Goals

Not that kind! You know why you’ve decided to go to school, and it’s important to keep your eye on the ball (figuratively). You want to start your career, and to get there you need to complete your education. That’s the big goal. Make sure you have little ones too, like getting an “A” on this week’s assignment or finishing your essay by Tuesday. Setting goals for yourself will help you stay on track.

Having options on how to get your education is awesome, but choosing online means you’re ready to do the work. You’ve got a great support system in place to help you succeed. If you’re ready to take the next step visit Carrington College today!

Carrington College offers online certificate programs in Medical Administrative Assistant and Medical Billing & Coding and an online Health Studies Program for alumni who have their certificate and want their Associates degree.

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