How to Choose General Education Courses Online

Writing on a white board "Online Education"

Going to college has its perks.

One of them is having the flexibility to decide what you want to study.

By being picky with general education courses online, students develop skills and abilities which are desirable for career advancement. As a freshman with a clear-cut career path, general education courses may feel like another tedious chore.

But if you're yet to decide on the career path you want to follow, these classes present an excellent opportunity to explore new and interesting subjects.

If you make the right course decisions from the get-go, executing your degree plan will cost you less. And make you an all-rounded student too.

Biology is biology. It doesn't matter whether you take your general education classes at Yale or a reputable online course provider. You can still transfer your earned college credits and get your degree.

If you need help to choose which courses suit your degree, check out our mini guide on some of the things you should keep in mind.

Stop procrastinating

Book your spot early. Most general education courses, including online courses, are offered during the summer. Registering early is almost guaranteed to get you placement in all the classes of your choice.

Also, in case a problem rears its ugly head, you'll have enough time to iron things out.

Pro tip: Always have a backup plan. Regardless of how early you register, draft another list of classes which you can fall back on in case you can't secure a spot in the ones you want. Some classes are quite popular and fill up quickly.

Get the core requirements out of the way first

Some of the core academic subjects which make up general education courses online include math, science, history, and philosophy.

It doesn't matter which major you intend to pursue. You have to include one or two classes from each of the major disciplines we just mentioned.

The number of mandatory courses varies from college to college, however.

But whichever the case, try to get them done within the first two years. This will give you more time, later on, to concentrate on your major. 

Wondering what makes these core requirements so important? Well, each one gives you a different set of skills which are transferable to all careers.

They aim to develop your critical thinking and sharpen your problem-solving skills.    

Balance your online classes

We know how tempting it can be to choose the easiest classes when taking general education courses online.

But this is one of the most counterproductive approaches you can take. On the flip side, getting bogged down with nerve-wrecking classes all the time can be detrimental to your success. Try to strike a healthy balance when picking your classes.

Unlike classes in high school, general education courses online require more of your time and input.

It's advisable to slowly work your way up to the harder classes. Also, choose classes which give varying types of coursework assignments.

Would You be ecstatic about writing 4 long papers in a week? We didn't think so.

Challenge your beliefs with general education courses online

When did you last leave the safety of your comfort zone?

At least once a year, challenge your beliefs with a new class which you'd normally not do.

When we constantly challenge our beliefs, we develop a growth mindset. Take the time and enjoy different worldviews not similar to yours.

For instance, are you a self-proclaimed conservative? A Marxism class would be good for a change. And a class on conservative politics would be well-suited for liberal students.

There's also a possibility of not enjoying the new class so try to keep an open mind. 

But remember, you're likely to learn more from such a class compared to a student who decides to confirm their beliefs. 

Does a particular course pique your interest?

When choosing your general education courses online, it's easy to fall into the every-freshman-takes-this-class trap.

But don't fall for it.

Instead, pick classes which appeal to your genuine interests and strengths. Typically, this leads to a better learning experience for a student taking their general education courses online.

Will a particular class improve or build on a specific skill which you already have?

That's an astounding yes.

If you're in the pursuit of a business degree, for example, a public speaking class is something worth considering. Good presentation skills are a must-have if you want to take up a leadership position in business.

Consult an academic adviser

An academic adviser can help you with your selection of general education courses.

And that's why we advise freshmen to consult with one before registering with any course. Prepare a list of questions beforehand to ask the adviser. What's more, getting a class preapproved by an academic adviser before registering for it is also important.

It ensures any credits you earn are transferred to your degree program.

By getting pre-approved, you'll also eliminate the risk of duplicating a class which you've already done.

Take a college placement exam

Placement exams are a good way of making sure students join a class which is compatible with their current skill level.

They are done before registering for any general education course.

You probably didn't know this, but getting a good score on a college placement exam can get you exempted from taking some required courses. Did you earn college credits when you were still in high school?

There's a likelihood you can use them to fulfill some of your core requirements as well. 

Parting shot

Odds are, you've found a College you'd like to attend if you're already scouting for general education courses.

But try not to get caught up in all the excitement.

Discovering your major in college will be influenced by the general education courses you choose to enroll in. Brace yourself. This is a great opportunity to add to your skill set and finally, decide what it is you want to major in.

Ready to take the leap?

If you need help taking an alternative general education class online, feel free to contact us today! We are always happy to help. 

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