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Transition: Undergraduate Ground Courses to a Graduate Online Course

The transition from undergraduate to graduate studies is a challenge within itself. Students are committing to higher levels of learning and accepting the challenge of preparing the mind for an advanced level of thinking. Choosing to pursue an advanced degree online is an alternative with several advantages: students can continue career paths, manage a family, and maintain work life balance while pursuing a degree in the comfort of their own homes. However it is more of an advantage for the student to research different programs to find the best alternatives to meet their needs. Personally, I’ve had the privilege of utilizing the online degree program, partially in undergraduate, and entirely in an MBA program. As a current student with Queens University of Charlotte’s James Knight School of Communication, I’ve finally found a program that accommodates my needs.

Transitioning from undergraduate studies to graduate studies online was a smooth transition for me. In undergraduate school I partially attended class online and partially in a classroom setting, so the transition to an online degree program was a smooth transition. The challenge of the transition was obtaining an accelerated MBA degree online which consisted of maintaining two classes simultaneously, and four classes a semester. While the program set up was not as challenging in undergraduate school, it did not execute well in advanced levels of learning. It only took two semesters for me to burn completely out. My main mistake involved the attempt to rush through an advanced level degree. As a result, I signed up for the first program that offered the least amount of time in school which nearly drove me to an asylum.

After my melt down I decided to be honest with myself and really do my research before pursuing another online degree.

After researching online I found the James Knight School of Communication. I contacted an admissions specialist to find out more about the Master’s program. My admissions counselor seemed equally interested in me as a serious candidate in their program, instead of a customer purchasing a degree. I learned the program offered an accelerated advance degree program, but each semester consisted of two 8 week courses. As a graduate student, I am only concentrating on one class at a time, which allows me to pace myself and put my best foot forward in each assignment. The program also offered an accredited degree program, and I could immediately apply the curriculum in my real life scenarios. The program is also set up so that new and inexperienced students can learn how to navigate through the online portals before classes began, allowing a smooth transition into the online degree program. I can honestly say my experience with Queens University of Charlotte’s Master of Communications program is the best online advanced level degree I’ve pursued so far.

Advice

  1. Do your research. Don’t settle for the first online program that comes your way. Research different programs and ensure the program you are choosing meets your needs.
  2. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t go into an advanced level degree with the expectation of rushing through. Be realistic in your expectations of your learning experience. Remember to take things at a pace that is comfortable for you.
  3. Make the best of your educational experience. Pursuing an education is the most costly investment that you could make in yourself. Take your education seriously and take advantage of the opportunity to learn.
  4. Apply what you learn. Don’t leave your brain on a shelf! Find opportunities in which you can exercise what you learn. Build a professional profile for yourself to show others what skills you possess, don’t allow your learning experience to be in vain.

Transitioning to an advanced level degree online can be a challenge only if you allow it be. Taking the time to choose the best program to fit your needs will benefit you as student in the long run.

About the Author

Elizabeth Leak-Flythe, is pursuing a Master’s degree in Communications with Queen University’s James Knight School of Communications.

Elizabeth enrolled in the online MA in Communication degree at Queens University of Charlotte after speaking with a student advisor who explained the online program As a wife, mother, caregiver, and full time employee, she needed the convenience of an online program without compromising the validity of her education.

As a student blogger, Elizabeth hopes to encourage, teach, and guide other students as they pursue their career goals.