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10 Success Tips for Working Adults Enrolling in Online Degree Programs

Congratulations on your decision to go back to school and earn an advanced degree. Whether you’re starting college, returning to finish your bachelor’s degree online, or enrolling in one of the online graduate programs, you are embarking on a life-changing journey with many rewards for you and your family. Continuing your education is an opportunity to refocus and advance your career, acquire a higher level of knowledge and skills, and increase your earning power.

How to Prepare for a Successful Online Learning Experience

The students and alumni of Walden University, an accredited university offering online college degree programs, suggest the following tips for having a successful online learning experience:

10 Success Tips for Working Adults Enrolling in Online Degree Programs

  1. Involve your family in your success
    Be open about what it is you hope to achieve and how your online education can benefit everyone. Your family will be that much more excited to support your dream if they are a part of the journey.

  2. Document your goals.
    Deciding to go back to school is a serious commitment, so it’s easy to think of legitimate reasons to not do it—family, work, social commitments, and so forth. Instead of getting trapped in the cons, focus on the pros. Make a list of your short- and long-term goals and sign it to show your commitment. Ask your family members, friends, and/or employer to review your list and show their support by signing off on your goals. This will help to ensure their support and fuel your motivation to earn your accredited online degree.

  3. Set a schedule for coursework and homework.
    Going back to school is a priority equal to family and work responsibilities. As an online university student, you need to establish a weekly plan for when you will log into the online classroom, participate in the discussion posts, and complete other assignments.

  4. Find a quiet place to study.
    Coursework requires discipline and time management to be successful. Be sure to identify the best times and places for noise-free, distraction-free studying where you can concentrate and maximize your productivity.

  5. Be prepared to study anywhere.
    Any time you leave home, take a laptop or download coursework to your smartphone or MP3 player. Whether you’re commuting on public transportation or waiting for your child’s sports game to start, take advantage of those little blocks of time to work on readings and assignments.

  6. Know what resources are available.
    You can save time and enhance your online learning experience by using your university’s resources, such as Walden’s Writing Center, library, and Student Support Team.

  7. Create online study groups with classmates.
    Form study groups as early as possible in your program and establish peer relationships for studying, developing papers, and completing homework assignments.

  8. Build relationships.
    Take advantage of the unique opportunities to establish long-term relationships with classmates and faculty members. Enjoy the global perspective you can gain from fellow classmates in other countries. These local and international connections may prove beneficial and rewarding long after you’ve completed your online degree program. At Walden, you can also connect with fellow students, faculty, and alumni in Our Community.

  9. Set your priorities.
    Take a page from Suzy Welch’s best-seller, 10-10-10. Evaluate every situation as to how it will impact the next 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years, then prioritize accordingly.

  10. Reward yourself.
    Take time for yourself as part of your routine. It is important to schedule time between your studies to maintain balance and renew your energy.

Learn more about Walden University’s accredited online bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degree programs, doctoral degree programs, and certificate programs in 10 areas of study from business and management to nursing.

Explore Walden University's online degrees and specialized certificate programs that fit your career goals. Earn your degree through a flexible online learning model that fits your life and schedule.