It's a classic struggle...
Do I take one course next term so I don't get too overwhelmed? or
Do I take multiple courses so I can finish my degree ASAP?
Taking courses one at a time helps a lot of busy, working students find great work/life balance. When you're investing a lot in your education, you want to do well. Why overextend yourself and risk falling short?
There is a downside to this approach, and it's an important one.
When you take one course per term, finishing college can take a long time. If you up your course load, you can cut multiple semesters off the time frame that it would've taken you to complete your degree program one class at a time. This is less time in college and less opportunity for you to incur additional student loan debt, offering you a compelling win-win scenario.
Taking two classes per term can be challenging, but it's absolutely necessary if you have an ambitious time line for finishing your degree.
In this course load struggle, there is a happy compromise:
What is a 6-week course?
These class run during the regular 12-week semester. However, this option allows you to take two courses one at a time, back-to-back in 6-week spans, and within the regular Spring term.
What are the benefits?
Instead of balancing two classes with different week-to-week expectations, you can put all of your attention into just one course at a time. Applying your full-focus into just one course can help you in several ways:
Have you ever mixed up the course requirements when taking multiple courses… Maybe one instructor wants you to post to Moodle twice a week, and the other requires three posts? We're human. We make mistakes, but boy does it make you feel small when you've made a mix up! One benefit of the 6-week courses is that there’s just one syllabus for you to consult. It minimizes the risk for confusing your requirements and allows you stay organized.
No matter what, college is a huge investment. You want the opportunity to connect with the subject matter on a deeper level and get the most out of your learning experience. That’s why you’re here.
When you enroll in two 6-week courses, you gain the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the course topic. You can take your learning to a whole new level!
Can you share any success tips?
Understand the Time Commitment
If you’re already a full-time student who takes two classes each term, you’ll have the foundation necessary to manage your time in the six-week format. If you typically take one course each term, you may want to get the experience of studying full-time with traditional 12-week courses first. Then, if it works for your schedule, take on a six-week course and experience the benefits.
Get Your Syllabus ASAP
With a six-week course, there’s not a lot of breathing room in between deadlines. As soon as your course is available, prioritize reviewing your syllabus. From there, map out how each deadline will work with your schedule. Look for any personal commitments, like holiday get-togethers or vacation plans, and make sure there are no conflicts with the courses deadlines.
Select Courses that Speaks to Your Passion
If there’s a topic that you’d like to fully immerse yourself in, the six-week format will be a great fit. On a personal level, you’ll get great fulfillment from the opportunity to focus 100% of your attention in this area. On a practical level, this also means that you’ll arrive in class with lots of ideas to contribute to the discussion boards, helping you to finish your weekly assignments on time.
Make it a Daily Habit
Plan to log in daily to check for updates, read messages, post to the discussion board, and work on assignments. For a six-week course, having a regiment is important, so seek out time management tools to help keep you on track, such as Evernote: a free app designed to organize tasks, take notes, and collaborate.
Feeling Stuck? We’re Here to Help!
Seek assistance immediately if you are experiencing any difficulties. Your instructor or advisor can be a great asset to problem solving. We also offer online and on-campus tutoring. The online option (BrainFuse) is available in Moodle and if you haven’t used it, you should check it out. There are message boards where you can post quick questions, study guides, and (of course) tutors who can work with you at a more personal level.