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6 Things You Might Not Know About Earning a Graduate Degree Online

By Room 241 Team June 8, 2018

If you’re curious yet uneasy about earning a graduate degree online, we get where you’re coming from. There are so many programs to sort through and for-profit scams to avoid. But when you find a high-quality, non-profit university that offers innovative programs on campus and online, that’s an option worth exploring. What better place to start than Concordia University-Portland? Sure, we could go on about our 110-year history or our 93% academic satisfaction rate for our online MEd, but it’s always better to hear from students and alums themselves. So we asked some of our Cavaliers what surprised them about their online learning experience, and here’s what they had to say.

1. You can still receive individualized attention.

“You’re not just a number because that was something I was worried about. There’s definitely a relationship that’s built between the student and the professor, and the students in the program.” – Dr. Rachael Hoffert, EdD graduate

“Concordia has our best interests at heart. They’re supportive; whenever I have a question, I can always call and talk to someone there.” – Jennifer Luftop, MEd graduate

2. Connections are just a click away.

“What surprised me was how much it made me feel like I was still in a classroom. We have weekly discussions to connect with our peers, and our professors are very responsive. It’s just like being on campus without physically being on campus. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.” – Carletta Griffin, MEd graduate and current EdD student

“It didn’t feel like I was hundreds of miles away. It felt like everyone really did care about my well-being, as well as my grades.” – Bonnie O’Farrell, MEd student

3. It’s possible to feel fully supported by online faculty, staff, peers, and even alums.

“You truly are not alone! From fellow students, professors and staff, and our private Facebook group, which is for students and alums – help and encouragement is only a click away!” – Lora Lamberth, MEd graduate

“Concordia has supported me from day one. My enrollment specialist helped me through the process over the phone, since I was without power and my city was struggling from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Throughout the program, I’ve felt completely supported.” – Shalandria Williams, MEd student

“After searching for the perfect university, Concordia was exactly what I needed. They invested in me personally and spiritually and cheered me on all the way through to walking across the stage.” – Dr. Danielle Taylor, EdD graduate

“The level of support exceeded my expectations. I was able to contact my dissertation chair through email, text, and calls.” – Dr. Monique Woodley, EdD graduate

4. An online graduate program can be highly engaging.

“I was surprised by how engaging the classroom environment is online. I think I was expecting something cold and clinical because of the lack of face-to-face, or even real-time contact. Instead, I found the asynchronous discussions interesting and the other students very involved in the learning process. I actually ended up preferring this online environment to traditional classrooms. I don’t think the conversations would have been as good. Having time to formulate our answers and back them up with our research made for more robust discussions.” – Nina Reed, MEd graduate

“I found myself so excited each week just to see what the reading would be, so I could use it in my classroom. It was very rewarding. I never expected it to be so aligned with what I was doing daily.” – Andre’-Mar’Quis Mitchell-Franklin, MEd graduate

5. A well designed online graduate program is just as valuable as an on-campus program.

“The program gave me real-world application while learning educational theory and methodology. And the balance was just right for me—being able to use what I was learning immediately with my students helped reinforce course content.” – Andrew Holtz, MEd graduate

“The program resources were phenomenal. I now have my own go-to digital library of research journals to scan for various topics in education because of the blueprint that was laid out in my MEd program.” – Laneka Egans, MEd graduate

“All of the courses are relevant to what’s going on in education today.” – Lauren Harness, MEd graduate

“When I was enrolled, my goal was to become a better writing/language teacher. I have spent countless hours contemplating and planning how I can be better for my students. I’m proud to say that 83% of my students, first-time testers, passed the English STAAR Test. It’s a small step in the right direction, but I’m ecstatic about it. I credit the program for giving me the tools and direction I needed to begin the journey.” – Auz’annette Harrell, MEd graduate

“Knowing what I know now has changed my entire perspective on teaching and education as a whole. I love Concordia’s online program.” – John Hoskins, EdD student

“It’s amazing to watch the growth that takes place personally and professionally.” – Dr. Camille Schuler, EdD graduate

6. You can still feel like you’re part of a community.

My cohort still keeps in touch and we frequently share information and resources—this in itself has become a valuable resource.” – Darlene Hester-Slade, MEd graduate

“I did not think I would be able to get to know my classmates. I have enjoyed learning about my classmates and have appreciated gaining insights from people with different teaching backgrounds, lengths, and opinions. They have impacted my learning experience greatly.” – Shane Zazula, MEd student

“I was worried that I would sacrifice important human interaction as a result. Imagine my excitement when I realized I was part of a real, tangible community. A community that has encouraged and supported me to continue my dreams beyond the MEd program.” – Tina Gabel, MEd graduate

“It isn’t just a university. It isn’t just a program. You are going to work with people who will feel like family.” – Dr. Lisa Fee, EdD graduate

Suggested Read: Helpful Characteristics of Students Enrolled in Online Graduate School Programs

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