Back to School Means Back to the Net for Millions of College Students

Share Article

Expert tips to help the online student succeed.

August means the end of summer and the start of a new academic year for millions of college students. However, according to the results from a 2004 Sloan Consortium survey, for 2.6 million students, and growing, going to college means going online and not on campus.

For the online college student, preparation for the start of classes does not include packing clothes or dorm room essentials; however, it is critical for a student's success to prepare for the unique issues and circumstances they will encounter while taking college courses online.

Dr. Kenneth E. Hartman, Director of Academic Affairs at Drexel eLearning, the online subsidiary of Drexel University, offers the following “tips” for the online college student:

  • Organize Your Schedule: Use an electronic calendar (e.g., Outlook) to block-out several hours per course/per week to read, write papers, communicate with your instructor and classmates, conduct online research, and participate in group discussions. Prioritize your academic commitment, as it if was a second job.
  • Set Expectations: Let family, friends, co-workers and others know of your obligation and commitment to your degree program. They will likely be more supportive, if they realize the priority and importance of your academics.
  • Meet Your Instructor: Take the initiative to contact your instructor, sharing your background, and learning more about their experience, research interests, office hours, best time to contact them online, recommended websites, etc. The better the relationship with the instructor, the better the course experience.
  • Tech Prep: Update your computer (operating system, web browser, applications), and then familiarize yourself with all software applications needed for the course (spreadsheets, PowerPoint, etc.). Consider creating new bookmark folders (My Favorites) for each class, and conducting a little advance web research on the course subject matter by viewing applicable websites, subject directors, and the electronic resources available online through your college library, e.g., e-journals, e-newspapers, e-periodicals, etc.

For further resources on online learning, please visit

A pioneer in online learning, Drexel offered an online M.S. degree in Information Systems, in 1996, marking the first time any university offered a fully online degree program. The M.S. degree is now ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. At present, Drexel eLearning offers a full catalog of online Bachelor's, Master's and Certificate programs in the areas of Business, Information Science and Technology, Nursing and Health professions, Engineering, and Education.

A key component to Drexel University's success with online degrees is that there is no distinction between online and on campus students. Drexel's online programs follow the same rigorous academic standards (i.e. admissions criteria, curricula accreditation and exams), are taught by the same distinguished faculty and lead to the same, quality degree students receive on campus.

About Drexel e-Learning

Drexel e-Learning, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Drexel University, specializing in innovative, Internet-based distance education programs for working professionals and corporations in the U.S. and abroad. Drexel University is continually ranked one of the best national doctoral universities by U.S.News & World Report and enjoys regional accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges & Secondary Schools. For more information about Drexel's online degrees, visit or call (877) 215-0009.


Dr. Kenneth Hartman

Drexel eLearning

(215) 895-0501

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Dr. Kenneth Hartman
Visit website