Knowing what you want to get out of your college experience is the first step in building an effective plan to reach your academic goals. Things to consider while planning include:
- Choosing a program that matches with your professional aspirations.
- How you’ll balance your family and career responsibilities with your academic pursuit.
- Knowing the steps to take to complete your degree on schedule.
- Learning how to build positive relationships with fellow students.
- Making a plan to dedicate the necessary time to studying and coursework.
Find the right college that supports your goals
When going back to school as a parent, the top priority is finding a school and degree that can align with your goals and be worth the time, effort and money you’ve invested.
Look for universities that offer relevant and well-regarded programs in your field of interest. If you aren’t sure about which degree or certificate is best for you, you can speak with an enrollment coach to determine the best program for your professional and personal goals.
Pay attention to differentiators such as faculty accolades, as well as rankings from third parties with a reputation for impartiality and conducting strong research. Arizona State University offers nearly 300 programs online that are taught by renowned faculty, and has received prestigious recognition from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, U.S. News & World Report and Times Higher Education.
When you’re ready to apply, look into scholarships and financial aid that can help cover tuition costs. Eighty percent of ASU Online students receive some type of financial aid.
How online learning can support parents in college
Online learning is designed with flexibility in mind, making it easier to progress toward your degree on your schedule while still spending time with your family and addressing any other responsibilities.
Most of ASU Online’s asynchronous classes are 7.5 weeks long, which means you can start off with a light course load and add more later on when you’re confident you can dedicate the additional time to your studies.
Additionally, online learning can align with the needs of parents who may not be able to completely free themselves from distractions for extended periods of time.
“My desk is in the middle of my house and opens up to a room that doubles as my kids’ playroom,” said Brian Hood, ASU Online student and parent. “To say that I had challenges while trying to listen to lectures is an understatement. I recommend investing in a good pair of headphones, and be willing to pause and rewatch your lectures. Going to school online allows for more freedom to be able to pause when you need to. I know it's tough, but in the end, it is absolutely, indescribably, unbelievably worth it.”
Access student services that support success
Your family can be a source of support when going to school with kids, and so can your university. Take advantage of services that address your needs as a student and parent, preparing you to adjust, adapt and thrive in higher education. These services can guide you through each semester while you grow as a professional and build relevant expertise.
When you take part in an ASU Online program, you can access student services such as:
- Counseling and life services.
- Student wellness services.
- Success coaching.
- Technical resources.
- Time management coaching.
Also consider networking with professors and learners in your program, with an emphasis on building connections with your fellow student parents who can be another source of support.