Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trident's Online Classes Changed Everything

Choosing the Online Study Program

Written By: Gregory Webb 
          I’m Gregory Webb, and if you would have asked me in 2012, when I started studying at Trident Technical College, where I would be in life right now, I would probably have some generic and rehearsed answer to give you—likely in the form of some four year plan regarding a career, the largest house I could finance, starting a family, or something along these lines. Although this lifestyle is very appealing and works great for most people, I would like to take a moment to explain the path I took, and more importantly how Trident Technical College’s online college options helped me along the way.
          My first two semesters at Trident Tech were in-person and although I enjoyed them very much, and felt comfortable with the setting, peers, and teachers—I quickly noticed myself becoming restless. This could have something to do with the amount that I had been traveling throughout the previous years or it could just be the age I was quicky approaching, demanding more excitement from me; either way, I decided to answer its call. 
          In the past, I had always idolized Europe and its ability to stay above the curve with laws, fashion, infrastructure, and other things that are simply not regarded as socially acceptable in the U.S. I decided that I wanted to get a taste of it for myself, but in my mind I was facing a dilemma because not only did I not have a plan, what would I possibly do about college? Could I finish when I come back? Oh no, that would never work—I would be at LEAST 26 by that time. How on earth would I explain this to future employers, friends, and family?

          After taking time to research and consider my options, I found a very exciting opportunity to work with an English speaking team in Marburg, Germany where I would help translate legal documents, sort through spelling and grammatical errors, and other busy work for a language technology company, which outsources its work to foreign expats. I applied eagerly, then waited for a response.
Me leaving for Marburg,
from Charleston International
          After being accepted, I realized there was one problem I had left to deal with that I had been avoiding all along; what would I do about college? After considering my few options, I browsed around on the college’s website and noticed the link leading to Distance Learning. 
          I was hesitant, of course, as I believe most people are with online courses, especially considering the somewhat less than respected reputation some schools across the country are receiving. Still, I spoke with my advisor about it anyway. Upon assuring me that every class would be accepted towards my degree in the same manner that an in-person class would, my mind was made up and I packed my bags the next day.
Flags from my apartment
in Marburg, Germany.
          After settling into my new culture, apartment, and social circle, my classes for the fall semester of 2013 began and I logged into the D2L portal. For many people, this portal could be somewhat over-whelming in the start of things, but after about a week of navigating through the tabs and watching the helpful how-to videos the teachers provide, I was practically an expert and nearly fell in love with the classes immediately.
          To give an overview of what a normal online course is like, it begins with a general introduction and syllabus week where somewhere within the forum you will be required to write a brief introduction of yourself and in most cases, take a quick syllabus quiz. This can be extremely useful, especially for students (like myself) that are new to Distance Learning and need time to adjust to the learning platform it provides. 
          Within the next few weeks, you will be facing approximately 3-4 hours of work (per class) if you include self-study and self-learning tasks. A normal week within one of the 8 classes that I have taken so far would be one discussion question which poses a question relative to the class or reading, a 50 question (give or take) quiz, and 15-30 pages of reading for each chapter. Along with these tasks that are due on a weekly basis, you will likely have a research paper to complete within the length of your course.
          For most of my online courses, the research paper is laid out in a very helpful way, that takes stepping stones in helping you to complete it in a timely manner.
          In the past year, I have had experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything and all because of the option to take my courses online with Trident Tech. This program and its teachers have provided me with not only the resources needed to complete my degree, but also the capacity to see the world while doing so. If you find yourself wondering what your next step is in life and feel like normal in-person classes will just prohibit you from doing the things you want to accomplish, take a look into Trident’s Distance Learning and I assure you that you won’t regret it. Trident Technical College is not only flexible and understanding, they also realize that we sometimes face struggles during our lives that can create obstacles and hold us back from taking a step to better ourselves. Let Distance Learning give you the chance to make that happen!


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