Online Math Degree:
Always do your research before starting a degree program. Learn from those who have been where you are now.
Matt from Eau Claire, WI, earned his bachelor's degree in math online from Western Governor's University. He shares his experiences below.
Describe what you liked best about your online math degree program:
As someone who already had a bachelor's in a different subject and was working full-time, the flexibility and convenience of getting the degree online was really my only available route of changing careers. I was able to schedule the classes around my life and at my pace. Being able to adapt the schedule to my needs and doing it in the comfort of my own home was wonderful. The quality of instruction was still very good and instructors were readily available to answer questions and give feedback. The class work was well organized and well-focused and I found the other students more highly motivated and engaged in the program than when I obtained my original bachelor's at a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Having classmates from through-out the country was also a lot of fun and, having several non-traditional students also added an additional dimension to the program that I especially enjoyed.
Describe what you liked least about your online learning experience:
I felt there were tho key challenges to getting an online teaching degree. First, early on, the looser structure associated with an online degree made it very easy to procrastinate at times. I learned fairly quickly that I needed to keep on top of my studying and homework or I could get way behind. It was hard with a family and a full-time job also begging for my time. It was easy to give into those distractions because they were real and present in my life and not in the virtual world. The other challenge was lack of face-to-face contact with instructors. While I had very caring and dedicated instructors who made great effort to be available, the lack of face-to-face contact was a downside. Topics like class-room management and presentation style are hard to cover in the online setting. Again, instructors tried some creative methods--webcasts and video--to overcome some of this but did not fully match the in-person environment.
How has this university degree helped or hurt your career?
Helped me a lot. I was able to get teaching a lot faster than if I had had to go through a university program. My area (math) was high need so placement was not a problem.
What would you say to others who may be thinking of earning an online math degree?
Self discipline is very important and critical to your success. An online degree can work great for you if you make it work for yourself
Matt - Eau Claire, WI - Western Governor's University - Middle School Math
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