How to Make the Switch from On-Campus Learning to Online School
There are a lot of reasons you might transfer from a traditional campus to an online college. Maybe you need to get a job and online college works better with your changing schedule. Maybe you’re not in love with campus culture and you realize you can complete your education online both more efficiently and more affordably. Maybe, like many students, you are probably in the position of being unable to return to campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused respiratory illness in almost every country, overrun hospitals, and made physical distancing (“social distancing”) the new normal.
With a growing number of states, provinces and even entire countries closing learning institutions as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 70 percent of students around the world are not attending school. This is why online schools have assumed the most important role in our society, increasingly admitting students who are vulnerable to the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Transferring to an online school or college can seem overwhelming, but if you do your homework ahead of time, it’s pretty straightforward. This guide discusses why a student may want to transfer to an online school, important aspects to consider when selecting a school, and the typical steps needed to transfer. If you are considering an online college, read more about what you would need to do to find the right school, and ensure the smooth transfer of all your credits.
When an Online School Might Be the Better Option
Going to school is a social milestone that many people fondly remember. But mainstream schools do not always reflect the diversity of individual students ‘ academic and social needs. Various types of students could benefit more from online education. They include students in the following categories:
Students stuck home due to COVID – 19 Measures
As a result of the pandemic and the need to practice ‘social distancing,’ 186 countries have closed down all schools and universities. According to UNESCO, over 1.2 billion students are affected by nationwide and localized school closures, representing around 73% of the total of enrolled students worldwide. Schools have hence shut down and classes moved online.
In this uncertain environment, it’s important that learning continues, even if it can’t happen in person. That’s why students require access to expert faculty, best practices, and other online learning resources for people who are studying, teaching, or working remotely.
Students with unique learning styles
The learning patterns of certain students actually don’t mesh with typical classrooms. Such students can gain more from online classes offering alternative ways to interact with course materials, teachers as well as other students. Some special needs students fall into this category.
My personal opinion is that if a student wants to learn and is inspired and has a facilitator to support them, they will be a perfect candidate for online learning. Students need to be motivated because the asynchronous style of instruction (in which students do not have a set timeframe for accessing and finishing the coursework) puts them in full control of what and when they learn.
Students who want to graduate faster
A traditional school day ends around 4 pm. In contrast, many online schools operate 24/7. That means students can learn and graduate early at a faster pace. (Nevertheless, some districts allow traditional students to complement online classes with campus-based courses, meaning that students don’t automatically have to select one model over the other.)
Some college students have to work to help support their families, and most of the time, these hours conflict with traditional school hours. Online schools let students continue to work without sacrificing their education.
Students with health problems
Students are having difficulty staying on track if they are constantly being derailed by medical problems. Studying online in such cases has two potential benefits – it allows students to complete work when they can (as long deadlines are met), and students with weakened immune systems or severe allergies can avoid exposure to health risks.
How to Transfer to an Online School
The process of transferring to an online school from a traditional college campus is easy, provided you’re coming from an accredited school. While the process differs from one school to the next, the necessary steps a student can take are as follows:
Research your Options
The students may have multiple online high school options depending on where they live. Some may be free, but others may not. When investigating options, ask questions such as: How does the curriculum look like? Are there courses on Advanced Placement? What kind of credentials do the teachers have, and what experience? One of the most important items to consider; When the college is not accredited, look elsewhere. Accreditation means vetting the school for meeting basic educational standards.
Communicate with the school
The next step is to communicate with a potential school and when you do so, I recommend that you have an unofficial transcript in hand to expedite the transfer process. Most online schools usually ask for an unofficial transcript so that they can determine relevant classes that are relevant to the applicant.
Find Out which Credits/Classes will transfer
Each school has its own system to determine which credits to accept and what courses students need to take to graduate. The online college may not accept all previously received credit, but if you come from an accredited school, credits should transfer more easily.
Assemble and Submit the required Paperwork
Necessary documentation can vary from school to school, so talking to an administrator is helpful to find out what needs to be submitted. An official transcript is usually the most significant piece of paperwork. As you might be enrolling and still taking classes at your old school, make sure that your latest grades are submitted for review at the online school. Apart from official transcripts, students are likely to be required a government-issued ID or proof of residence. Also, don’t forget to complete and submit the application form itself.