As some of you may know, over the past summer I enrolled in an online school to obtain my Associate's Degree to be a Veterinary Technician. At the ripe old age of ?? (left out purposely, lol) I decided that it was time for me to take some control over my life and my financial situation. I want to do something important with my life! Going to college was something I had talked about doing for quite awhile. I knew it would be difficult for me to do because it would be hard for me to have a babysitter for the kids and to drive so far so often to go to school. I started researching online schools and it really got me excited!
I'm sure a lot of you are like me and wonder how exactly an online school works? Well, I can tell you how Penn Foster works. First of all, I want to mention the tuition. Tuition for online schools is quite a bit less than a typical brick and mortor school. Penn Foster has monthly payment options that you can choose to do if you can't afford all of it upfront. You just have to have it paid off before they will issue you your degree.
You have one year to finish one semester. So far, the first semester of my course includes Physical Exam., Restraint, Behavior, Computers, Biology, Medical Math and a few others. They send you one subject at a time. You have as much time as you want to read through the books and take the exam. You do the exam online and as long as you pass they will then ship out your next subject!
They have online classes which is basically like a chatroom where the professor types out what he would say in a typical class lecture. They also show slides on the screen to go along with the lecture. You have a chance to ask the professor questions and he/she will answer it!
They have forums where you can discuss things with other students taking the same courses. You can ask about school work or trade class notes... etc. You have to spend a lot of time on the forums and they consider that to be "class participation".
At the end of the semester you will take your Proctor Exams. I've not taken these yet but have heard that they are essay questions, all exams have to be done in the presence of a "proctor" and the exams can take up to 6 hours to complete (in one day!). The Vet. course classes are taken closed book while the non Vet. classes are open book.
After your second and fourth semester you are required to do a "Practicum" which is working in a vet's office being taught certain procedures and practices for so many hours.
I really like the fact that I can do my work when I have time! With 3 young kids and working it's hard to be able to squeeze in quiet time for me to study! I don't have to worry about having a deadline I can just do it when I can. The payments are low and is something I can afford right NOW. I know they will have to be paid off before I can get my degree but I have a long time to plan and save ahead for that!
I think online schools are a great option for someone like me who has a very busy schedule to follow. I'm glad that I took the first step to change my life!