For Timothy Bond, adviser at Metropolitan State College of Denver, deciding to follow his family tradition of earning an advanced education was easy. But deciding where and how to pursue the degree he needed while working full time took careful thought—and advice from his fellow academic advisers.
Bond has attended national academic advising conferences since the early 1990s, networking with professionals in his field who told him about Kansas State University’s online master’s degree program in academic advising.
“Enrolling in this online program versus a campus-based program helped me set the pace I needed by taking the number of courses that would allow me to study and continue working full time,” Bond said.
As he began the program, Bond says he had to learn to reorganize his time and couldn’t rely on the same patterns anymore. Instead, he accessed course material and books while commuting, during lunch breaks, and while at home or on the go.
“The first course I took was very challenging and required good time management from me, though it was a little scary since I had been out of school for twenty years,” Bond said. “But the structure the instructors provide is very helpful and helps keep you on track. I didn’t image it was possible to have so much discussion online until I started this master’s degree.”
Bond also found his online course instructors to be extremely engaged, helpful and quick to respond. The program allowed him to explore new ways of thinking and ways to handle advising situations that he could implement at work.
“I have found the academic advising courses to be so relevant to what I am doing in my job. I will be doing readings and discussions online and then go to a work meeting to find the subject keys right into what I had just studied,” Bond said.
One aspect of distance learning technology that has been especially helpful in Bond’s graduate studies is the ability to purchase books in both electronic and hard copy versions.
“Having access to the two different formats of the texts allows me to manage my time better,” he said. “I have discovered that I like learning online. It is all about commitment and time management for me to accomplish my goal of earning a master’s degree.”