7 tips for success with online learning - FIU News

7 tips for success with online learning - FIU News


7 tips for success with online learning - FIU News

Posted: 17 Feb 2020 07:00 AM PST

With online learning growing in universities across the nation, most myths have been dispelled, but some remain. Several of Florida International University's online alumni discuss what they feel are the biggest misconceptions regarding online degree programs and share their best tips to help current and prospective students.

1. Use online classes to graduate on time.

Hassan Hussein

"The misconception of online learning is that online classes are the easy way out, that they are for those who are lazy, and the classes are easy. You can't be lazy, and classes are not easy. In reality, if you're not going into it with 100 percent, you're not going to get the best out of the program," said Hassan Hussein, who earned a bachelor's in information technology in 2017 and a master's in computer engineering in 2019.

Hussein played basketball for FIU and his online classes helped free up his time when he needed to travel for games. They also helped alleviate his schedule with practices and gym time. No stranger to discipline, the student athlete maintained top grades while completing his master's degree on time, with the help of online classes.

2. Manage your time to be successful.

Eloy PerezEloy Perez

"People think they won't have time to pursue a degree online. You have to manage your time, but the programs can be accomplished," asserted Eloy Perez, who is an industrial network design engineer at Chevron. Perez earned three degrees from FIU: a bachelor's in computer science in 2007; a master's in computer engineering: network security in 2016; and a master's in engineering/industrial management in 2018.

Vedner GuerrierVedner Guerrier

Vedner Guerrier agrees with Perez. Guerrier, whose workday starts before 6 a.m., is the vice president of oncology services of the Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, FL. He managed to complete his healthcare MBA in 2013, even with a rigorous schedule.

"Another misconception is that you'll be able to do things fully at your pace, but this isn't accurate as there's accountability involved with fixed assignment due dates. So, time management is a priority," added Guerrier.

3. Take advantage of all resources offered online. 

"The misconception about online learning has to do with its lack of rigor and that the programs are not as deeply developed, but this is inaccurate," said Jason Lafferty, associate dean/executive chef for the business technologies division of the Midwest Culinary Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Jason LaffertyJason Lafferty

Lafferty earned his master's in hospitality management in 2013. Originally an on-campus student, he switched to online courses because he anticipated some employment opportunities and a move to Ohio where his wife's family lives. He wanted to be able to take his coursework with him. Lafferty offered that online students should try to take advantage of all of the resources FIU has available.

"I wish I had spent more time developing a relationship with other parts of the school," he lamented. He explained that the resources offered to online students can help them feel more connected and supported. He encourages students to take advantage of this.

4. Force yourself to be engaged.

John MulreyJohn Mulrey

"The misconception of online learning is that you're not engaged. In order to be successful, you really have to engage yourself in the process. You have to commit the right amount of time and do the work that is required to maximize the output from the class," said John Mulrey, regional director at FirstService Residential Florida.

Mulrey received his master's in hospitality management in 2008 but maintains that the principles of learning online remain the same. While you don't have to physically be at a class every week, he said, you must consistently set aside time to do the online coursework.

5. Maximum effort means maximum learning.

Theodore MooreTheodore Moore

"The misconception about online learning is that it's not quality. Another misconception is that it may be more challenging. It depends on how much you put into your program. Everything is what you put in," maintained Ted Moore, director of front office at The Confidante, a hotel within the Hyatt collection of properties.

Moore earned his master's in hospitality administration/management in 2014. He said the online degree program did not interrupt his career—he could continue working and collecting the experience needed to advance.

6. Accelerated online degree programs are available.

KarinaKarina Constantine

"People also think it's harder online, but that's because it does require a measure of discipline and commitment. If you stay disciplined and you follow instruction, you can do it," said

Karina Constantine, who received her master's in special education in 2019. By day, Constantine, originally from South Africa, is a K-5 autism spectrum disorder special needs teacher at Whispering Pines Elementary in Boca Raton, FL. After school, she plays midi wind controller and keys for a musical group called Gypsy Lane Band. 

"Online learning really makes sense for teachers like me who need to get education quickly. At 47, I wanted an accelerated degree because I was also working and have family obligations and performances with the band."

7. Reach out when you have questions.

DelaneyDelaney Verger

"Whenever I had questions, I could reach out and call my professors," emphasized Delaney Verger, opening team concierge for Disney's Riviera Resort in Orlando, FL. Verger received her master's in hospitality management in 2019.  

"I think that assumption that you get a stronger connection in person isn't the case. You could be sitting in class the entire semester and never talk to the professors. Professors in the online program were responsive," she said.

Siena Heights University Announces Degree Completion Partnership - WLEN-FM

Posted: 16 Feb 2020 01:45 PM PST

Siena Heights University and Ciena Healthcare Management and Laurel Health Care Company have announced a business partnership that will offer degree completion and other educational  opportunities to Ciena and Laurel employees.

"Siena Heights University has more than 40 years of experience educating working adult students," said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. "We are thrilled to partner with Ciena Healthcare Management and Laurel Health Care Company and look forward to a long and productive relationship that will ultimately benefit their employees."

Based in Southfield, Mich., Ciena Healthcare Management has more than 5,000 employees in 39 skilled nursing facilities in Michigan, and Laurel Health Care has 40 facilities in several states, with around 5,000 employees. Ciena and Laurel are innovators and providers of skilled nursing and rehabilitation care services.

Under the partnership agreement, qualified Ciena and Laurel employees will receive a tuition discount and will receive personalized advising and student success and career counseling from Siena Heights.

"We are pleased to partner with Siena Heights University in supporting our employees to further their education," said Ciena and Laurel representative Allyson Bakewell.

SHU offers bachelor's degrees in Applied Science, Accounting, Business Administration, Community and Human Services, Multidisciplinary Studies, Professional Communication and RN to BSN, with master's degrees available in Business Administration, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Health Care Leadership, Higher Education Leadership, Nursing and Organizational Leadership and Teacher Education.

For the fourth consecutive year, SHU's Online Learning Program was ranked as the best in Michigan among all institutions by the U.S. News and World Report. Siena Heights also was ranked nationally for the seventh consecutive year, and finished tied for 33rd among all public
and private institutions.

Siena Heights was also ranked third nationally IN STUDENT ENGAGEMENT in the U.S. News and World Report's methodology. SHU also had the FOURTH HIGHEST FACULTY  CREDENTIALS AND TRAINING RANK IN THE NATION, according to the publication.

"We are proud of our nationally recognized Online Program," said SHU Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies Dr. Cheri Betz. "Our programs are designed to meet the needs of adult students seeking to advance their careers by acquiring new skills and abilities needed for today's
workforce."

Siena Heights may accept up to 90 college credits toward a bachelor's degree from regionally accredited institutions. Credit is also awarded for military and workforce training, professional licenses and certifications.

Accelerated classes are offered every seven weeks, and Siena Heights offers open enrollment. There are also blended classes available at SHU's degree completion centers in Michigan.

"We invite Ciena and Laurel employees to learn about all the educational opportunities Siena Heights University is ready to provide with this partnership," Dr. Betz said.

For more information, visit start.sienaheights.edu/CienaLaurel.

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*Information from Siena Heights University*

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