Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Choose Distance Education
Distance education programs are a practical option these days for busy adults, parents with children and even high school graduates who prefer to continue working, often full-time, while earning a post-secondary credential.
“Unlike most traditional college programs, distance education is highly flexible and usually completed over a much longer period of time,” said Michele Rosko, department head, Vancouver Community College certified dental assisting (CDA) distance program. “That means less pressure to quit your job.”
Students in VCC’s CDA distance program, for example, can start any time of year and take up to five years to finish their courses. The on-campus equivalent is ten months and only accepts students in September.
Plus, distance learning can still be very much hands-on and in the real world.
Rosko says while CDA courses are done at home with textbooks and easy-to-use online lesson plans, students must also complete mandatory work hours at dental offices — anywhere they choose — and take part in some clinical work at the college.
“We keep students motivated and engaged in our programs by offering unique lesson plans like podcasts and videos,” said Anita Schuller, VCC TESOL distance education instructor.
Schuller adds because students come from across Canada and all over the world, the online course component was designed to be user-friendly and includes training tools, so that students rarely run into technical problems. Assigned tutors are also available to respond to questions by email or over the phone.
“We recognize that people who are less savvy with computers think the online aspect of distance learning will be too difficult,” said Rosko.
”So it’s important to offer support and assistance to make it as easy as possible.”
Schools mentioned: Vancouver Community College
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