Pro Tips for Online Degree Completion

A new Andrews alum, reflecting on her success, shared these tips. Email to add a tip from your experience.
  • Maintain your spiritual life.  Losing touch with God makes everything else unnecessarily stressful and tiring.
  • Check course choices with your academic advisor before registering.  They may have a better idea of which classes have certain prerequisites, are only taught every other year, are difficult to take together, or new great new classes to consider.
  • Don’t rely on your academic advisor.  While they understand the system better, you know your situation best. Be proactive. Use your degree plan and the course schedule to plan each semester.
  • Look up the classes you have to take.  If any have prerequisites (Math, History) or are taught in two or three parts (e.g. Greek), take the first class or clear prerequisites right away.
  • Keep your degree plan updated. Pay attention to the updates to your spreadsheet provided by your advisor.  Write your plan of which term you'll take each remaining requirement in the comments column. Keep this plan where you can easily reference it.
  • Take it easy on the electives.  Just because you need to take a few random classes doesn’t mean you should just fill your schedule with pottery and scuba diving. Credit for prior learning and transfer credits most often fill electives for adult students.
  • Pace yourself. If you work full-time or have not studied online, start with one class.  If you have studied online, manage time well, and plan to complete studies now as a full-time student, 12 credits (4-5 classes) can be done in the four-month semester. Financial aid is available for two classes per term, which is a maximum possible for students juggling work, family, and study. Overloading negatively affect your grades, your health, and your eligibiliity for financial aid in future.  
  • Write down your goals. When you take the time to write your goals, you clarify your plans and can work towards fulfilling specifics. This includes making a schedule with weekly deadlines for each class.  Share these with your instructor and family to hold you accountable and respect the study time you'll need to succeed.
  • Read emails regularly and act on them. Your Andrews email is the main method for official communication to distance students, so you are responsible for acting on updates sent. Reply as requested, or email the sender to clarify whenever something does not make sense or appears to be in error.  Take the initiative to succeed.