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You’re currently balancing job, family, kids, taking care of parents, and the loving care and feeding of one dog, two cats, and a goldfish. But for all that, you’ve decided to consider online courses to take that next big life step.
First of all, kudos! Not everyone has your drive. That glint of determination in your eye inspires us. Employers are also taking notice of people like you in a big way. According to a 2013 survey, many employers believe that getting an online degree requires the same or even more discipline than a traditional degree.
Based on our experience helping tens of thousands of students earn online college degrees, career diplomas, and career certificates, here are the six most important questions to consider as you research online courses. Above all, choose an online course that fits your life and your goals.
Compare and contrast the program of study you want across several online schools. Look to see how many and what type of courses are offered in the areas you want to pursue.
Browsing faculty listings is a great way to find out what sort of expertise they bring to a program. Are the online faculty credentialed in the specialty area they teach? Most important, do they have real-world experience?
Even the most committed student needs help. Creating time to focus on school in addition to other commitments is challenging. Where will you find the time?
Look for an online school that allows you to customize your studies in a way that fits your life. For example, many Ashworth College students already work full-time and have family and outside commitments. They love that there are no pre-scheduled classes or exams, no group projects, and no due dates.
If you have a complicated schedule, make sure the online courses you select allow you to fit your learning around your life--not the other way around.
It's not asking too much to have access to teachers and staff that want to support you on this journey. Ask admissions how the school you’re considering helps students with busy lives succeed.
Don’t borrow thousands of dollars from your future self. Online courses make degrees accessible and affordable to more people. One of the reasons many people choose online colleges is to avoid the financial debt often incurred with traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Ask about hidden costs, such as “Do I have to pay extra for books or supplies? What sort of software or equipment is needed for me to complete my program? Does the online school help with internships?"
Bonus tip: Go beyond just money when considering costs, however, and ask yourself how much time you can afford to devote to your program, how much academic help is available to you, and is the program flexible enough to meet your needs.
A growing economy and low unemployment are encouraging employers across the spectrum of industries to take a serious look at online certificate and degree earners. Small business owners create a lot of jobs. They are looking for people with the ability to juggle family, job, and other life demands.
Earning things such as a career certificate is increasingly seen as a bonus. Ask your boss or someone you know that’s in a hiring position what they think. Would they promote someone who showed up with a completed certificate for high-demand skills?
There are quite a few accrediting entities for online colleges and universities in the United States. Accreditation ensures quality. Don’t consider a school that isn’t nationally accredited because you may not get the quality you expect or deserve.
Ashworth College is a nationally-accredited online college. All of our career diploma, certificate, and degree programs are accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
This is the most important question of all because only you know the answer. The fact that you are here reading this blog means the inner desire and drive is already present. But to be ready to press into larger life goals and work past doubts and barriers requires an extra push.
Yes? Okay, get started! Whether you’re just starting out or pursuing your next career goal, flexible, affordable career educations out there. There are approximately 5.8 million students nationally taking online courses. And every one of them is unique in their reasons for doing so.
They’re doing it. You can, too.
You want to get the most out of your education so why should you settle for anything less than the best? Ashworth’s Medical Office Assistant: Administrative Procedures Career Certificate Program was named the best online medical assistant program by Medical Assistant Advice. Here’s how we can help you get the skills to help you prepare for a career in the healthcare administration field.
— Medical Assistant Advice
You’re organized and pay attention to detail. You also enjoy helping others and making sure things run smoothly. With these skills, you can help run a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital from behind the scenes. From keeping records and helping patients fill out forms to coding procedures, your talents can be used in various ways as a medical administrative assistant.
Being a medical administrative assistant involves helping patients with intake paperwork, pulling files, and scheduling tests or examinations. You’ll learn how to schedule appointments, follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and ensure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance. You’ll also complete courses to help you prepare for the medical administrative assistant field such as:
This certificate program provides students with an introduction to administrative work at private practices, hospital offices, and clinical departments.
Our Medical Office Assistant: Administrative Procedures Career Certificate Program can help prepare you for the field. Designed by healthcare professionals, this program focuses on the skills and knowledge can boost your potential for a career as a medical administrative assistant. Once you enroll you can prepare to take steps toward starting your career with Ashworth EDGE, our online career services toolkit that helps you translate lessons into the career skills.
Start your journey toward working as a medical administrative assistant with Ashworth College by calling an Admissions Advisor at .
Where do you study? If you find yourself studying on your bed in a messy room, you may want to consider revamping your space. The environment you’re studying in can determine how you learn, how much you retain, and how you apply that information. As an online learner, you have a lot of control over your study space. That’s why it’s important to make sure you make it the perfect study environment.
Here are five ways you can make your study space learning-friendly while also personalizing it for you.
At home, there are countless distractions. Between family, a page long to-do list, and lack of motivation, it’s easy to let your mind wander. That’s why it’s important to set study rules. Let your family or roommates know that you’re studying, what you’re studying for, and how long you plan to study. This way they know not to disturb you and understand the importance of the material you plan to go through.
Your spot should also be peaceful and noise free. Listening to distracting music or watching TV may not be the best approach to studying. While music helps some people focus, if you find yourself singing along or concentrating more on the music than your studies you may want to turn it off. Your phone should be off or turned over to limit distractions. It shouldn’t be buzzing and giving you the temptation to surf the Internet. If your area is too quiet for your liking, turn on a fan to add some white noise. Or, think about past study environments that have worked for you. Try recreating that environment with sounds, smells, or lighting.
Nobody likes to be uncomfortable and you definitely shouldn’t be while you study. As an online learner, it’s easy to roll out of bed and start your schoolwork. While comfort is key, you need to draw the line between comfy and too comfy. This means you may want to change out of your pajamas before you hit the books. This way, you’re telling your brain it’s not time to nap, it’s time to learn.
Think about your desk and chair, too. You want to make sure your chair is comfortable with good support and won’t hurt your back as you’re busy reading and writing. Don’t forget to make sure that your computer monitor and chair are set to heights that are comfortable for you so you’re not injuring your neck or wrists. Lastly, keep your space cool and well lit. If it’s too hot or too cold, or if you’re straining your eyes to see, you’ll be easily distracted. Research shows that productivity is at its highest when the temperature is between 72°F and 75°F.
Now that you have a study space, you want to keep it organized. First, make sure to gather all the supplies you may need and place them where they’re easily accessible. You want these items to be within reach so you don’t have to waste precious study time looking for what you need. You can organize these items by using desk drawers or by placing them in organized piles on top of your desk. Try keeping your materials together by course, including all notes and printouts you may need.
Ultimately, organization means something different for everyone. While a clean desk promotes productivity, a messy desk may help you be more creative. Everyone has a different style and it comes down to personal preference, so choose whatever style fits you. After all, comfort is key.
Adorning your study space with photographs, inspirational quotes, or posters can motivate you and keep you going. Maybe a picture of your family reminds you why you’re working so hard to earn your education. You can also spruce up the area with a plant or two. Studies show that plants improve air quality and can help you focus.
Most importantly, this space should be somewhere you enjoy being. A space that’s yours and only yours, even if it’s only a small corner in a busy room. Make this a space you actually enjoy spending time in.
You love your new study space. It’s comfortable and personalized just for you. So, it’s tempting to use it for non-study related activities. Don’t! You’ll be more likely to create distractions if you decide that this is also the space where you’ll watch Netflix, play video games, draw, or just relax. Dedicate it exclusively to studying, that way you only associate the space with learning.
Creating a study space is all about you and the way it makes you feel. It’s about dedicating time to study and creating an atmosphere that allows you to get ready to hit the books and work towards reaching your goals. Due to budgeting restrictions, you may not be able to create the study space of your dreams, but with these tips, you can turn even the most boring space into a spot that inspires you to learn.
Share your study space with us! Use the #AshworthCollege on social media and show us your favorite space to learn.
If you’re lacking energy, having trouble concentrating, or just aren’t feeling your normal self, what you’re putting into your body (or lack thereof) may have something to do with it. Often times people tend to overlook how their lifestyle choices, like nutrition and exercise, can affect their brain. Making small changes in your busy life to adopt a healthier lifestyle can fuel your body and mind while giving you the energy you need to complete your tasks. Here’s how to fit healthy living into your busy schedule.
If you’re losing focus or falling behind in your schoolwork don’t brush it off. It may be due to your overall health. Believe it or not, nutrition affects your learning. Adopting a healthy lifestyle around your busy schedule, schoolwork, and career may seem exhausting, but it’s important. Eating well and moving more doesn’t mean you have to be miserable or eat foods you don’t enjoy. It’s about making small, gradual changes that result in you feeling better. And, if you feel better, you’ll produce better work, gain more energy, and enjoy a boost of confidence.
Food is fuel—fuel for your brain. But, “bad fuel” like processed or refined foods—meaning foods that have been pre-packaged, canned, or frozen—affect your brain in a negative way. Diets that are high in refined sugars can result in impaired brain function and mood disorders. According to the Harvard Health Blog, eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress. Healthier foods produce serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain that affects your mood. If you eat food that’s good for you, that means your overall mood will be better, resulting in better productivity.
With your busy life, it may seem easier to grab a burger on your lunch break from the closest fast food restaurant. Maybe you’re eating just to eat, not considering how it’s affecting your learning and overall mood in general. However, the more junk food you consume, the less nutrients your body receives.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of fitting healthy eating into your hectic life. Instead, try tips like
Small changes is all it takes to get the nutrients you need to concentrate on your studies.
There are plenty of reasons to exercise that range from reducing the risk of diseases to improving your body composition. But that’s not all. Research shows that exercise is just as important for our brains as it is for our bodies. Exercise helps our memory and thinking and reduces insulin resistance, inflammation that can lead to disease, and raises the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and the abundance and survival of new brain cells, according to Harvard Health Blog. Additionally, studies have shown that those who exercise have greater brain volume in the parts of the brain that controls thinking and memory.
While finding the time to exercise may sound exhausting there are ways to be active without spending hours at the gym. Here are some exercise tips that will have you study-ready:
Nutritious eating and exercise is the ultimate self-care. When you’re healthy inside, you’ll produce better work on the outside. Keep your memory sharp and ready to learn with a solid diet and regular exercise. If you’re not sure where to start, Ashworth College can help! Our Nutrition, Diet and Health Science Program can help you understand how a better diet can improve your quality of life, while our Personal Training Program can help you recognize why physical activity improves your overall health. Ready to take the first step? Enroll online or call us at to see if these programs are right for you.