I really want to go back to college and get my Bachelor's Degree. Need HELP/Advice! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-16-2012, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started at a state college and finished a year and a half (3 semesters) before dropping out to work full time.   Then got pregnant and had a kid.  Now that she is 6, I want to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree.  I feel a little overwhelmed having to go through the whole admitting process again, so I was thinking about starting with online courses and then transferring everything to a 4-year school.  Has anyone else out there taken a break and then gone back to school?  What did you do?  Also, has anyone else had experience with online courses.  I was just talking to a teacher at my kid's school who was taking online courses through a school in Nebraska (we are in Houston) and she loves it.

Anyhow, if you out there have advice for me, I would love to hear it!  I am motivated, so I better get cracking!

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#2 of 10 Old 10-17-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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I am also trying to earn enough credits to transfer to a 4-year school.  I started at community college years ago and then dropped out when I was pregnant.  But I really did well in college, so I finally got motivated to get back in.  There was a piece on NPR about how Harvard and MIT are offering free online courses, so I decided to look into online schools.  HA HA I looked at the Harvard classes and they were way out of my brainpower/league!  But I found a lot of useful advice on this site:

http://whatiscommunitycollege.com/what-community-college/is-community-college-right-for-you/

 

There was even an advice page about the free online courses that some Universities are offering:

http://whatiscommunitycollege.com/insights/157/

 

Anyhow, I hope this is helpful  Good for you for going back to school!

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#3 of 10 Old 10-22-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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So, I dropped out many years ago, went back, THEN got pregnant and had a kid two years into the process (between terms, natch)... it's totally doable.

 

Personally, I prefer actual classrooms to online courses, but that's just me. It's a better learning environment for me, and I don't feel like I blend into the background in an actual classroom like I do online. I figured out early on that if I wanted letters of recommendation for scholarships later on, blending is no good.

 

I was also really overwhelmed by the whole initial process. Fortunately, my school has a returning women's program where they will assign you a mentor to walk you around campus from department to department, and another woman basically grabbed my hand, took me to fill out the forms, write a small check for the application fee, and then introduced me to everyone I needed to know on campus. From there, I had a list of what I needed to do, and now? I'm on my way toward grad school. orngbiggrin.gif Maybe you can look into a program like that, or contact the parent services office on campus? We have one of those too. You probably have something like that at wherever you're applying.

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#4 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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It is overwhelming to begin with, but once you are in and get into a routine it isn't as difficult. I took online classes for two semesters, and this is my first semester on campus at my local community college. I have to say that I feel like I am learning so much more, enjoying my classes so much more, and enjoying my LIFE so much more taking classes on campus. Having the social interaction is a big plus emotionally, I guess, but I also feel like I learn a lot from (some of) my peers. I'm a full time daytime student, though, not a night student...I did not enjoy the night classes I took nearly as much. My theory on this is that at the end of the day the professor is tired, the students are tired, and everyone wants to hurry up and get out of there.


Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#5 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You gals rock!  Thanks for all the advice, and your personal stories.  Keep it up!

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#6 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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#7 of 10 Old 10-25-2012, 01:58 PM
 
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I'm not in your situation, but I am a counselor at a 4-year state college and have been a counselor at a couple of community colleges, so thought I'd offer a few tips:

-if you are in the same state as the 4-year school where you began, I would suggest going to a local community college to see if they can help you navigate what you can do there prior to transferring

-transferring coursework from one 4-yr school to another is harder than from a community college to a 4-yr

-online classes through community colleges are generally easier to transfer elsewhere than from a for-profit online school (Univ of Phoenix, etc)

 

I am not completely anti-online, but I would suggest a combo of in-class and online if you can swing it, so you can determine how you actually learn best.

Finish any remaining general requirements, such as general ed, foreign language, and lower major courses before transferring, so that once you transfer you are only working on your major and nothing else.

Make sure you are pursuing the appropriate degree for the job you want. My favorite way is to read up on potential careers in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which details what type of education you need: http://bls.gov/ooh/

 

Finally, make sure you pursue something you're passionate about! There is so much "noise" in the media about the value of a college degree and certain degrees not being "worth" anything. Total BS. If you love what you do and do it well, you will be successful, in my experience!
 

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#8 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 02:20 PM
 
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If I could interject here.  I come from a very academic family with members who consist of two medical doctors and an attorney.  I have a BS and MS in engineering from nationally-ranked engineering universities.  I can say this now that I'm out of that rat race...college degrees are wayyyyy overrated.  I now know that the best education for me is what I learned in the real world after leaving cubicle city at the office for good after leaving a boss who thought that she was God.

 

I now believe in having multiple income sources and do real estate as well as network marketing.  When real estate went kaput in 2007, my network marketing income (and rental property income to some degree) has been keeping me afloat.  One of my family members, a medical doctor, just got booted out of his practice because of bad politics after almost 20 years with the same medical group.  Now he's struggling to survive despite having Ivy League degrees and training from some of the best medical institutions in the world.
 

Before you rack up loads of debt to get a college degree, I suggest you ask yourself how well you will be able to monetize it and if it's worth the risk.  Make no bones about it, spending the time and money to get a degree is riskier than many people think.  Most of the world's multi-billionaires don't have college degrees, although they will hire those who do have them.  I'm not saying to quit college or avoid going altogether, just suggesting that a college degree be put into perspective and not held up on a pedestal like the Holy Grail as I grew up thinking that it was.

 

"A formal education will make you a living.  A self education will make you a fortune".

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#9 of 10 Old 10-26-2012, 02:55 PM
 
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I went back to school to a community college to finish my bachelor's when my kids were 1.5 and 3.5. My first semester I did all online classes, then did a mix of online and regular for 2 more semesters. I transferred to our state school and went there for a year. Then I got pregnant and decided to take a year or more off. I have about a year left before I can graduate-- could've graduated already but I chose to do something more specialized (GIS/Cartography) and hadn't taken classes in that area before going to the four year school (UW-Madison).

 

I really enjoyed my time at community college. There was a daycare onsite that had a sliding scale, instructors were very understanding of student parents, and I got a couple of scholarships that helped pay for daycare and for a new laptop. The biggest challenge of course with being a student parent is TIME. I felt like I was handling it pretty well until I transferred to my four year school. I didn't want my kids to be in preschool/after school care past 2:30 (the other choice was 6pm) so I had to fit all of my classes into a short time frame and had no free time to study, except at night. And of course by then I was already exhausted. When I go back I'll realize that I need my kids to be in after school care if I'm to be successful. I think it didn't help that my school is one of the top state schools and is rigorous. I love being a student, so I found the courses to be interesting and if I wasn't a mom, I could've done it no problem. However there was about 10-15 hours of homework per class per week and I just couldn't keep up and still be the mom I wanted to be.

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Jean, feminist mama raising three boys: W (7), E (5) and L (2.15.13)

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#10 of 10 Old 11-17-2012, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mommel View Post

 

I was also really overwhelmed by the whole initial process. Fortunately, my school has a returning women's program where they will assign you a mentor to walk you around campus from department to department, and another woman basically grabbed my hand, took me to fill out the forms, write a small check for the application fee, and then introduced me to everyone I needed to know on campus. From there, I had a list of what I needed to do, and now? I'm on my way toward grad school. orngbiggrin.gif Maybe you can look into a program like that, or contact the parent services office on campus? We have one of those too. You probably have something like that at wherever you're applying.

That is my one concern with online-only schools (Accredited ONLY of course!) - I want to have an adviser to help guide me through the process.  Anyhow, thank you all for the great advice.  That whatiscommunitycollege.com site was really great - they walk you through the FAFSA application (Free application for Federal Student Aid) and had some great tips about applying for scholarships - I had no idea there were so many out there that it is worth searching them out and applying to see what shakes down.  I now have my sights set on this coming semester (if I survive the holidays HA HA), so I will get back to you on how it works out with kids.  But there are a lot of resources out there and other moms who are doing it too!

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