Students enrolled in an online university setting generally have the freedom to register for classes without needing to contact the university registrar. This process can be intimidating to students who do not always know which courses to choose first or how to plan for future courses. Usually, it’s quite simple, and it all begins with the degree plan.
Most schools will provide the student with an outline of his or her degree program that clearly lists the courses that must be completed to earn the degree. Generally speaking, completing your program is simply a matter of following the outline. In a bachelor’s program, for example, most students start with general education and move into core and major requirements and the electives to complete their degree. At American Public University (APU), the degree program is listed on the “My Academic Plan” page of the online campus. The plan shows the student what courses have been completed, what credits they received in transfer, and what courses still need to be taken.
In addition, course schedules and university catalogs are usually posted on university websites or inside the student campus. You can use these to plan for future courses, and outline a schedule for at least the next few months of academic activity. Here at APU, the Schedule of Classes, as well as the Graduate and Undergraduate catalogs are invaluable tools for students, and many students at APU or other online universities can complete their entire degree program by using such tools, without needing to ever speak to a university representative or student advisor. Make it your business to know what resources are available to you and how to use them.
We understand, though, that situations arise when students need to speak to an advisor or other university representative, so we (like most online universities) assign an admissions representative to provide guidance during the enrollment process and first set of courses. Most schools also provide students with the services of academic advisors; these folks help students with course selection as they continue through their Academic Plan and can provide assistance in securing tutoring and other services. As a new student, take time to find out who your primary points of contact are — know their names and keep their email addresses and phone numbers handy!
– Written by an Admissions Representative at American Public University