Advice For Online College Students From Recent Alumni

Posted: August 19, 2020 | Author: Heather Winkler | Read Time: 3 minutes

Advice from online students

Before taking online classes, you may have some questions about online courses and the differences between on-campus and online. And who better to get advice from than the Southern Utah University students themselves? There are many online courses to take and no matter what course you choose to enroll in, there are some universal tips and tricks to succeed with online education.

“One unexpected word of advice that I would offer is: don't be scared to try online classes," said Grace, an SUU Online alumna. "You may realize that it offers you more flexibility and that you learn better in the online format. For me, I was always hesitant, but once I made the jump I never looked back.”

Your Professors

Most alumni say that professors are a key to a successful education. Professors are here for you, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Many of them are willing to communicate in the way most convenient for the student. Professors have been known to meet over phone meetings, texts, in person, emails, and video calls. Professors are here to help with assignments, building a professional network, and learning about new SUU student resources.

Professors want students to succeed in their classes and they are always happy to answer any questions about classwork. Sometimes having concepts explained and discussed ‘in-person’ can be beneficial for both the teacher and student. Students can gain a deeper grasp of what they are learning when both the student and professor are involved.

Many professors also have completed professional work. This means that they have connections and experiences that can guide students to a career path that best fits. Talk with your professors about their experiences and the people they have met. Through these conversations, you may find internships or a new work pathway that you haven’t considered yet.

Resources are a student's best friend. Professors can share advice, websites, and assets from SUU to help students in their studies. SUU’s Writing Center and Tutoring Center are great places for online students to visit to get a new perspective on their coursework. Faculty and staff can change the quality of schooling and they are always happy to help.

Study Time

Another piece of advice from an online alum is to plan your study time. Stephanie, an SUU online alum, has a family and a full schedule. She recommends planning a time to study and to focus on classes. Many of her courses were formatted so she could complete them at her own pace and Stephanie would map these courses out to plan what she needed to accomplish to finish her courses on time. When she did this, she had ample time to study for tests, finish assignments, work, and take care of her family.

Creating a time to hunker down and do your schoolwork is very important as an online student. Courses are designed so students can learn anywhere. By giving yourself a generous amount of time to study and finish schoolwork, you can avoid procrastination and you will never worry about having enough time to complete your assignments. If you create a routine, set aside distractions, and sit down with a strong intention to complete the work, you will become an effective learner.

Just Go For It

Lots of alumni tell new students to ‘jump in’ and ‘not be afraid’. When students are starting an online bachelor’s or master’s degree, it can feel overwhelming. But, as you make a goal to dive into your courses with vigor, you will find that you can master the curriculum while learning new insights from your classmates, textbooks, and professors.


Even the prospect of being an online student can be concerning for some. Does it give me a quality education? Will I be able to learn all the material on my own? How can I make sure I can complete everything I need to? With a strong support network, dedication to coursework, and access to resources, online students find a quality education at SUU.

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Wherever you are in your educational journey SUU can help you reach your goals. SUU's online programs provide the flexibility you need and the affordability you want. Accelerate your career with the online degree that's right for you.

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