Friday, August 10, 2012

Online Schooling is Definitely NOT for me

          I have a friend whose husband is a recruiting officer for one of those online schools. He sits at a desk while the automatic dialer spins out call after call of potential students.  If/When one picks up, he introduces himself and states the purpose of his call. 

          I am certain that over 50% of their “potential students” are not potential at all.  They were victims of online job hunting believing that they were filling out an application for the a job that would hopefully tie them over and entered info on those pop-ups designed to retrieve information to so sucker you into going to their schools.

          I know as I have been a victim of this “potential” marketing myself.  I am livid at the method of “solicitation” – if I wanted to go to school, I would search out for the school – I don’t need someone contacting me to try to “sell” me a product that is going to put me further in debt than I already am. Thank you very much!

          Their biggest selling point (that I see) is that it works to the students convenience because he or she can choose his/her own hours and doesn’t have to be on a set schedule as with the campus schools.  They don’t clue you in as how the hours can literally swallow so much of your time.  But perhaps many really don’t know how time consuming it is. 

The recruiters are expected to have so many starts in any given month.  If they don’t make the quota, they are invited to leave.  That’s not really fair – given the circumstances that most of the “students” who are contacted are not interested in being called let alone making a commitment – which a large percentage don’t.

          The online schools don’t have near as much to offer in career choices as campus schools.  There haven’t been any that have appealed to me personally.  I prefer a hands-on – one on one if possible.  I like having a live instructor that can communicate to me without the benefit of a computer. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I value my computer – but not to the point of replacing an education the “old fashion” way.

          After a year or so with the company (I don’t actually know how long) my friend’s husband was entitled to take the online courses for free (provided he work with the online school for the next three years or come up with the finances on his own) for either himself or a family member.

          As he currently has only one child who would qualify – and that child wants to go into medicine (which is not an online program) and my friend isn’t all that thrilled about the programs offered either, her husband has decided to further educate himself – which is all well and good – but it is sooo time consuming.  His greatest sacrifice (in my opinion) has been giving up several hours of sleep.

          I’ve been to her house a few times when her husband has been trying to fulfill assignments.  It appears to be so frustrating. My friend has had to physically remove her children from the environment so that he is able to stay more focused.  But she is never gone long enough.  What is suppose to be “two hours any given four days in the week” turns into eight. 

She says that often he doesn’t get to bed until after 2:00 and then he needs to be up by 6:00.  Perhaps his body has adjusted to needing only four hours per night (uh, morning) but my friend says that he comes home physically and mentally exhausted.  And she is worried about him.

Right now he is an A student. It will be another three years before he “graduates” – and then what?  Will having his degree or certificate or whatever it is help him to land a better job?  Will all those hours he spent at the computer, giving up sleep (not to mention a few family moments) be worth it?

I can receive an education online without getting credit for it.  There is tons of information to learn and so much right at our fingertips (literally) but I have to go at my own pace – which is not a part of the schooling education

For some people, online schooling really is an ideal thing – particularly if they are only working part time and have inherited a good chunk of money – and single – without children – without interruptions . . . perhaps it for some it has its perks.  But it’s not for me personally.  I can actually understand why the drop-out ratio is so high.

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