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I work with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Recently I have been working on a program to talk to our community about Financial Aid and Education option for Adult Learners. It seems that as soon as i get to the part about how Online education is an option people immediately cut the conversation short and say "I cant do online stuff" or something to the effect of "Online education is not for me"

Many of these people don't really know what online education is all about or how there are some scholarship opportunities for them. I personally prefer the traditional university setting but i didn't have to worry about paying rent and taking care of a family while i was studying.

I have seen articles and studies that argue both ways but My experience has been that we as a people have a negative outlook on the idea as a whole.

Anyways just wanted to throw it out there.

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Jonathan, you brought up a good subject because I am very familiar with on-line education. I am currently enrolled in long distance education (colleges use this term more than on-line) and have gone through the uncertain beginning of starting the first courses. My experience has been very good because the college I attend [on-line] introduced me to their tools and methods to help me succeed. The workshops and orientations were very beneficial to helping me to understand what I needed to do and how to do it.

A suggestion for you would be, sell the workshops and orientations along with the support instead of the courses and accreditation of the college.
JP thank you for your comments. I know Distance learning is the preferred term but i figured i would get more responses with the Online education title.

I like the idea of including more of the "Support" that colleges provide in the presentation the problem is that there is no unified "support". all the colleges/universities offer different types of support to their students. i have included some information about the generic support offered. However to really understand if any specific college and their support system you really need to do your own research.

My question was more about why some Latino Students have a "mental block" when it comes to distance learning. Obviously you are not one of these students but i'm sure when you tell people you are taking classes online you get some looks and the occasional puzzled "Really?!?!?"
Jonathan, when I tell people I am taking online classes, they completely understand what I am talking about, including most of Hispanic culture. I imagine that there are those out there that are unfamiliar with colleges offering online courses. Keep up your efforts to promote online education.
Sorry, when i said "the occasional puzzled "Really?!?!?"" i was referring to the fact that you are actually taking your classes online not to what online education is.
I, too, do online education. I have been doing classes online a year and a half already and so far so good. I do prefer classroom setting for your basic classes though. I am taking my core classes online through another state. I need to do more research to see if my credits will transfer to a local college for my degree plan. I will continue doing online classes but classroom setting as well. I have a five year old daughter so online education with the support of the tools provided by the school helps out alot.
Marie, Your are exactly the type of student that would benefit from the flexibility of distance learning. you have a family to support but you want to continue your education. good luck with school. i hope everything works out for you with transferring your credits.

Make sure you apply for financial aid there is a lot of money out there to help you complete your education.
I knew you where smart! Keep it up until you finish.
I think there are many misconceptions about online educaton that need to be addressed. I would be nice if you would make a list of the objections you receive. I am studying online right now, I already have a BA and some master credits in the traditional setting. I was one who would shy away from online education but embraced it since I did not know how long I would be living where I live and I needed the flexibility to continue my studies, plus at this moment I do not have a car. I just moved to the U.S a few months ago. But let me tell you, it depends a lot of the career you are pursuing, but in general, you need to pay for the classes, the computer, the software, and the books - it does not come cheap. It is also more time consuming than I thought - since I work all day, I have pulled several almost all nighters. But I love the online setting and I am starting to prefer it to the traditional classes. In the program I enrolled, they provide a lot of tutoring help, and you get to know your classmates pretty well since they encourage a classroom environment. I get to see all the work done by my classmates, which is not common in a regular setting, and we learn not only from the books, tutorial and teachers but from each other.
Maritza,
Welcome to the USA!
I know how you feel with the time consumption of on-line education. I remember when my wife woke me up at 2:30 am and my fingers were still on my laptop keys. Keep going and do not stop. Your success is important to you.

JP
Hello Everyone!

Jonathan -- you bring up a great topic - one that I can talk to given that I've experienced both traditional and online schools. I've been an online instructor for three Universities over the last eight years. Over the course of that time, I've seen an increasing number of Hispanic students in my classes. Given that many Hispanics are probably working at least part-time while attending school - online education is a perfect fit for many. I've seen many Hispanic online students thrive as well as share that they would otherwise not be able to attend school. I'm proud to be part of their educational experience - particularly since there are probably not a great number of Hispanic online faculty members.

Having just completed my doctorate online, I can tell you it was a rigorous program to complete. One aspect of online learning is that IT IS NOT like traditional face-to-face learning. It's much different. I like many of my students, had to adjust to the new learning evnvironment. Many adjust - unfortunately, many do not. Rather than trying to apply traditional approaches of learning, online teaches students to be much more self sufficient and responsible for their own learning. Much the way life is! At any rate, I think my traditional and online experiences really provided me with a rare look at how online learning is a perfect way to learn.
Miguel, congrats on your Doctorate!

JP
It's a good question Jonathan. I think there are several things that cause people to doubt the value of distance learning (I will use distance and online learning interchangeably). Speaking from personal experience, I remember trying to take Chemistry online back in 2002 and it being a disaster. Part of my hesitance today with online learning is the bad experience that I had before - and that feeling of disconnect throughout the course. Another reason to consider is that some subjects just lend themselves better to the online format. I cannot imagine trying to teach myself Probability and Stochastic Processes from a book on my lap and a PDF on the screen. Having a professor spoon-feed the knowledge (and instantly answer my questions) in real-time is something I still value for some subjects.

I know that many courses today use online video lectures, and this is a huge improvement over the "teach yourself from a book and PDF" method.

Lastly, I think it may also be a cultural thing for us. As a group, we Latino's (I don't mean to speak for everyone) are extremely social/amicable/touchy/feely beings and place real value in being among other people. Current online learning systems still lack a certain element of social interaction.

That's my two cents.

Good luck,

Frank

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