Online education is very much the wave of our future. It enables us to obtain an education sometimes remotely and gives us more options to explore educational opportunities we may not have had if we had to travel to an on-site classroom. The possibilities of educational topics are endless and the choices of subjects we can choose to study from are great. Teachers often make or break a course and can be the key to one student understanding their material over another. Without higher education, we are lost as a society and have no direction.
In recent news, there has been much talk of higher education. In Blaine Friedlander’s article “Online Education Report Encourages Experimentation,” the Report of the Cornell Distance Learning Committee had this to say about online education. “We live in an exciting, if uncertain, time. We do not know the future of distance learning, but we see that it holds much promise,” said the committee. Then in “Taxing the Economic Engine: Higher Education vs. “The Town,” by Dr. Brian C. Mitchell, Dr. Mitchell speaks of cities and towns where colleges and universities pay a greater portion of their regions tax bill. In recent times, higher education institutions sought to improve their image by completing economic development studies to demonstrate their contributions, both direct and indirect.
One person who understands the importance of online education and how it is shaping our world is Dr. Shana Garrett from Arlington, TX. “You have to meet people where they are. Everyone is different,” said Garrett. Individuals often have different learning styles and to inspire and encourage learning you must go from where an individual is at the present time and work from there says Garrett. Dr. Garrett’s Texas ways and compassion make her a real one-of-a-kind educator. She believes in paying life forward and giving back to the educators that made her experiences so rewarding. She also believes in giving back to her students as well. “You have to make time for you,” also said Garrett. Having a good work/life balance is important to the success of a person as well.
Garrett is currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Colorado Tech University. She is well known for her “pure heart” approach in counseling, learning, and higher education. Her “pure heart” approach is meeting people where they are and setting their egos aside. It’s about approaching situations with honesty and approaching goals realistically, and this approach gives individuals the best chance possible to achieve them.
Dr. Garrett holds her bachelor’s, masters, and doctorate degree in Psychology and uses her psychology knowledge daily in her teaching, and interactions with both teachers and students. She is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Texas, a National Certified Counselor, and certified with TCLEOSE Licensure. In addition, Dr. Garrett is a member of the American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Society.
Dr. Garrett also realizes the importance of new technology in and out of the classroom. She is a big supporter of online learning and sees its value in the world of education. There are many benefits to online learning which include:
- Saving time and money. Many students that take classes online are adults. They often do not have the time to sit in traditional day classes and online learning gives adults a chance to further their education on their own time. Online education can also save money on simple things like gas or the continuous upkeep of a car.
- Educational Programs Offered. There is a wide variety of courses offered online to meet students different needs. Taking college courses at a university can sometimes be limiting, but their online programs can often times be on target with their goals and the subjects they wish to study.
- Study times. With online learning students can choose when they want to study and if they work a full-time job this can be an ideal situation for them. Having the option to take online classes takes some of the stress out of trying to work and go to school at the same time.
- More time. Some online programs allow students more time to complete their tests, quizzes, and other assignments. Students who study online may complete assignments at different times from other students as long as they meet the course deadlines on time.
- Distance. Students may live in areas that are not close to universities and that may limit their educational choices. Those that live in small towns or have to commute long distances may really enjoy online learning due to these circumstances.
- Adverse weather conditions. The Northeast areas of the United States have had to contend with some pretty bad weather, making it hard for students to make it to class, sometimes canceling classes, and this has put some students behind in their programs and scheduled graduation dates. These concerns are often null in online learning.
- Time management. Students of online programs can also manage their time better. Because they do not have the other demands of learning in person, time management becomes easier and manageable once again, taking the stress out of taking classes in-person.
- Technology. Many online learning programs that are reputable give students a laptop or tablet to help them complete their courses. Some programs offer these items on loan or they may be bought as part of a student’s tuition in the courses.
- Reputable. Always be sure to check out the online program you are interested in with the Better Business Bureau or accredited education board (depending on the area of study and degree of choice).
Online learning programs are often a sensible solution to attending classes and obtaining a degree. For some, it may be the only option for them to get what they need to further their education. Educators and leaders like Dr. Garrett continue to fuel and shape our educational system for the better and will be there to help turn out quality students who hopefully make their life a success.