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Returning to College (a lot different than is used to be)

Capella UniversityGoing back to school should be a rewarding and exciting time.  We are fortunate to live in a moment where we have more options that fit so many of our needs and learning styles.  However, some may feel overwhelmed at the plethora of options, finding it hard to choose the best university. I’ve been an enrollment counselor for years now and thought I would share some helpful tips to assist you in choosing the best school for you!

Tip #1: Think about your lifestyle

Does your lifestyle allow you to have consistent availability during a certain part of the day or night?  If so, you may consider attending a local university.  However, if you’re too busy with work, kids, traffic, and life, then you may want to investigate options within online universities.  Online universities are great for busy working adults since you can attend class on your terms, not the other way around.

Tip #2: Think about your goals

This one can be the toughest part of the process, especially for those going to school for their undergraduate degrees.  Your bachelor’s degree can set the foundation for future careers, higher-level degrees, and empower you to make a difference in the world.  Therefore, choosing a degree program that suits your passion and goals is the best route, while providing you with classes that actually interest you.  If you’re not quite sure what you’d like to do in the future, most universities have career counselors to counsel prospective students, current learners, and alumni.  They are trained to dig into your background and passions and help you explore options you may or may not be aware of.

Tip #3: Apply to the right school

Do your research and evaluate several schools offering the program you’re looking for, a school that fits your lifestyle, and one that fits your style of learning.  For example, if you select a school that’s more test-and quiz-based, this may not be a good option for those who learn better with hands-on or project-based learning.  Most find it easier to learn and retain information by actually applying the techniques learned in class. Schools like Capella University are less about quizzing you on your ability, and more about grading how you apply your newly-learned skill.  In summary, evaluate several options and ask questions about how the professors teach, how you will learn, and what the weekly expectations will be.  Remember, you are in the driver’s seat.

As an enrollment counselor, I’ve found this method very helpful when guiding prospective students in their search for the right college. There are times when our university’s not the best fit, and I’m happy to tell prospects that because this is an investment in your future and it’s important to make the right decision.  Please feel free to reach out to me if I can help point you in the right direction.

Ryan Peña
Enrollment Counselor
Capella University

ryan.pena@capella.edu
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