Value of Connection
Being an adult learner and taking that leap to go back to school can be a difficult one for most of us. Once we begin though, it’s often easy to get into the routine of just grinding out the schoolwork. The opportunity to reach outside of your comfort zone in an online class isn’t always natural. But what I can share with you is that each student I’ve spoken to about taking that first step to utilize their peers, seek out a fellow co-worker who is a student or ask a question on Blackboard, has received the added benefits of connection to their coursework. One thing that Adult Learners can sometimes forget as they are going through a program, whether undergraduate or graduate, is that they can often share a unique perspective from their professional or sometimes personal experience.
PA College offers resources that can help make that initial outreach a little less scary. The one I most often recommend to students is our Seraph Foundation Learning Commons that includes our Library and Learner Support. The Library Orientation Guide can help you begin a research project or provide guidance if you are stumped on a topic. You can also find contact information or library hours or see how to schedule an appointment through Starfish. The Learner Support Team provides tutoring by faculty and peers. You can also log into the PA College Portal to see the Academic Support Calendar for other opportunities to get involved.
When you are doing an online program as an adult learner, Campus Life and Student Engagement might sound like it’s for the more traditional student. And sometimes it is, but Stephanie Ellis, Director of Student Life and Campus Engagement has a diverse list of offerings for all students to engage in. One of my favorites that Steph puts on is the Leadership Series, featuring Senior Leaders from numerous different health systems that share their wisdom, experience and road to success. These are always so valuable to hear and I often walk away energized and ready to take on a new challenge of my own!
Note: Some of the links featured in this post will not work unless logged into the PA College Portal with your student ID and password information.