You got the kids back to school, now what about yourself? What are you hoping to accomplish this fall?
Put a diploma, career certificate, or degree in your future by making a commitment to furthering your education. You’ll be setting an excellent example for your children (or grandchildren) and advancing your career at the same time.
Going back to school as an adult doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can achieve success with online learning by using these five tips to start off on the right foot.
When you were in high school, you may have studied primarily in your bedroom in the evening. Or perhaps at the kitchen table before dinner. You may not have called this “creating a study schedule,” but that’s exactly what it was. Now, as an adult, you likewise can structure your study periods for maximum effectiveness.
The most successful adult online learners create a dedicated study schedule and share it with family members to minimize distractions. Pick a time frame that works well (let’s say Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.) and write it on your family calendar. Then choose a quiet location where you can shut the door and focus. Maybe your home office would work well. Or the public library. Committing to a study schedule helps you get into a rhythm with your educational program and makes the best use of your time.
Online learners sometimes make the mistake of setting broad goals, like, “I’ll complete one module per month.” That might sound good in theory, but it may not be realistic or achievable because so many factors – subject matter, time available for studying – can affect your pace.
The better way to set goals? Use the “SMART” criteria:
S = specific
M = measurable
A = achievable
R = relevant
T = time-based
Here are a couple of examples: “I will complete one [measurable, achievable] assigned reading [specific, relevant] per week [time-based].”
Or: “I will use two hours of study time [measurable] this week [time-based] to write the assigned paper [specific, relevant] and then turn it in [achievable].”
Using the SMART criteria helps you study efficiently while being able to adjust your goals based on how difficult the subject matter is or how often life interrupts your academic journey.
Earning an online degree, diploma, or certificate takes time. To create the time necessary for you to study, you may need to rely on family members to shoulder more responsibility around the home.
Before you begin your degree program, hold a family meeting. Talk about the types of support you’ll need (like uninterrupted study time) to achieve academic success. Also discuss how to reallocate chores and other tasks to free up time for you to study. If you have younger children, identify age-appropriate responsibilities they can accomplish, such as picking up their toys to keep their rooms tidy. Older children can take on more family cooking, laundry duties, and other helpful tasks that used to fall to you.
By involving your family in this way, you allow them to participate in your success. When you graduate, they can feel pride in having helped you achieve your goal.
You need not feel isolated or alone just because you don’t take classes in a bricks-and-mortar building. You should take the time to gather supporters and keep yourself surrounded by others who want you to succeed.
Start by building good rapport with your academic advisor and faculty members. Spend time “meeting” other students in the online community. You might be surprised at the strong bonds you can form with people you only know through message boards! And socialize regularly with local friends and family members who can provide moral support and be your biggest cheerleaders.
Don’t save your celebration for the big commencement ceremony. Instead, take the time to celebrate the “small” accomplishments, from passing a tough exam to finishing a class. Treat yourself to lunch, reward yourself with a family getaway, or buy yourself some new career clothes to mark your academic milestones.
Celebrating the smaller successes acknowledges your dedication and motivates you to pursue the next goal.
Learn more about online learning for adults and how you can take your career to the next level with a diploma, career certificate, or college degree: Request free info today!
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Diana Pham, a student in the Associate Degree of Marketing program at Ashworth College and recipient of the prestigious Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarship. The Gary Keisling Ashworth College Continuing Education for Student Success (ACCESS) Scholarship program awards up to $25,000 annually to new and prospective diploma and degree students. Winners are selected based on essay submissions, work/volunteer experience, and grade point average.
Here’s what Diana told us about her journey with Ashworth College.
A: I knew I didn’t have the time or the resources for a brick and mortar college, so I began researching online. After a year of doing research, I chose Ashworth. It was affordable and convenient.
A: I entered the workforce after high school and then became a mom. I waited to pursue my degree until my daughter was old enough to be more self-sufficient. She’s 11 now, and it is definitely the right time.
A: My husband and I own a residential real estate and property management company. I think this degree will help us market our business better and ultimately help us grow.
A: It always bothered me that I couldn’t check the box with college degree listed as my highest level of education. It seems that a college degree is the minimum requirement today. I’ll be so excited when I can check that box!
A: My schedule is full with my business and family. I love that I can complete the lessons on my schedule and at my pace.
A: I was thrilled! A college degree is a major undertaking. The scholarship has made getting a degree even more feasible.
A: Just do it! Pursuing college online makes a degree attainable for those who either don’t have a lot of time or don’t feel that a traditional college is right for them. Also, I would tell them to take it seriously. Just because you work at your own pace doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s harder than I thought, and I have had to be dedicated to the process. My professors are demanding, and I feel like I’m getting a quality education. I have been encouraging my nephew to pursue his degree online. You can do it as long as you put in the time and effort!
Ashworth College allows you to study on your terms, whenever and however you want. But even with flexible study times, no due dates, and no “cramming for exam” dates, stress still creeps in. When it does, remind yourself that stress can be a good thing. You’re most likely stressed because you want to perform well, meet obligations, be a better person. All worthy goals! But to do all those things, you’ll need to wrangle stress down to a manageable level. Otherwise—burn out.
Below are five apps that offer tips for managing stress in college and—better yet—in life. These apps are perfect for online college students. Pick your app and get your zen on!
Known as a “gym membership for the mind,” Headspace offers bite-sized guided meditations that are quick and easy to follow. You don’t have to be a meditation guru to try out Headspace. You can choose the length of your meditation session and focus on your breathing or visualizations. Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath.
Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. It turns out coloring is a powerful stress reliever. The perfect calming break from your work, coloring boosts your creativity and is therapeutic. Colorfy is easy to use – even for those that aren’t artistically inclined. You can either color in pre-designed templates or create your own Mandalas!
One of the biggest advantages of choosing Ashworth College is the flexibility you have in choosing your “classroom” ambience. Apps such as Coffitvity help ensure that you can stay productive regardless of where you chose to study. Research shows that people are more focused with ambient noise, rather than complete silence or loud workspaces. Coffitivty reenacts the sounds of your local coffee shop so you can get in the study zone at home, in the break room, or at your kids soccer practice.
Maybe a relaxing game is more your style? As long as you don’t use it as a procrastination tool, mindless games like Zen Koi can provide you with the soothing and refreshing break you are looking for. Grow and breed beautiful Japanese carp in a koi pond with relaxing imagery and sounds.
You don’t need to take an hour-long yoga class to get the benefits from yoga. Take a break from work and have a good stretch. With lots of options for difficulty and length of exercise, this app works just as well for a five-minute stretch as it does for a more serious workout. Taking time to focus on your bodily sensations can increase your energy and give you the focus you need to finish your work. Plus, since you’re not tied to a classroom, you can take the stretch break whenever it’s needed!
The lesson here? Phones often serve as our biggest distractions, but if you take a breath and download these five apps, you are on your way to a more productive, stress-free day.
Keep stress at bay with Ashworth College online courses that work with—not against—your schedule.
Flexible. Affordable. Accredited.
When it comes to what employers want to see in a resume, you may be surprised. Certainly they want to see the standard bits of information, such as education, job history, and training. But what they’re really looking for is a means by which to determine if you’re the right hire for the job. This means they’re also looking at information such as results, relevance, signs of motivation, and an indication that you have a genuine interest in the company and position.
No matter where you are in your educational journey or career, you can write a resume that helps employers identify you as the best person to hire.
Here’s what employers look for in a winning resume – and three things they don’t want to see.
Keywords help match your resume to relevant job openings. It should be a no-brainer to realize that an employer searching for a “veterinary technician” needs to see that specific phrase in your resume (and not just the abbreviation “vet tech”). Beyond the job title, you should include other important keywords in your resume, too.
Go over any job posting carefully and make a list of the skills and attributes the employer is seeking. For instance, if a job posting lists “the ability to create pivot tables in Excel,” and you have this experience, then be sure to include the phrase “pivot tables” in your resume. If a posting requires “ability to work with minimal supervision,” and your prior work history includes such a position, then you should be sure to write something like, “managed the department with minimal supervision.” Including specific keywords like this helps employers find you when searching for resumes online and also helps the hiring official match you to the opportunity when scanning resumes to determine which people to interview.
When you write about your employment history, use strong action verbs and focus on accomplishments instead of tasks.
Example: “Achieved 25% year-on-year sales growth,” NOT “Was responsible for managing the sales department.”
Example: “Reduced patient billing errors by improving the efficiency of work flow within the department,” NOT “As part of management responsibility, changed the department’s work flow.”
Be sure to quantify your achievements whenever possible. If you can use numbers to communicate the concrete results of your efforts on the job, it will help a prospective employer better visualize what you can contribute to the organization.
Even if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t specify an educational requirement, be sure to list all of your degrees and relevant diplomas or certificates, starting with the highest degree you’ve earned. You do not need to include the year you graduated unless you are still taking classes, in which case you should share your anticipated graduation date and your current GPA:
Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (anticipated degree date June 2020)
Current GPA: 3.9
To highlight your commitment to continuing education, be sure to include relevant career diplomas and certificates you’ve earned:
Career Diploma: AutoCAD
Career Diploma: Medical Office Assistant
Just as employers are looking for the inclusion of certain items on a resume, they are also actively scanning to make sure certain items are not a part of your resume. Don’t make these common resume mistakes! No employer wants to see these errors on a resume.
You can increase your chance of getting a good job by pursuing a degree, certificate, or career diploma in a field that pairs well with your interests. Talk to an admissions advisor today to find a degree program at Ashworth College that suits your interests, schedule, and budget!