Beyond the content knowledge you have earned through your University of Nebraska High School studies, as a full- or part-time UNHS student you have also honed some of the skills necessary to be successful in college and beyond.

Throughout this series of articles, we will explore the characteristics successful college students have as well as the challenges they face when entering post-secondary education. We will also provide suggestions from University of Nebraska campus experts about specific skills you can work to acquire now.

The University of Nebraska is proud to provide students worldwide with more than 100 excellent undergraduate and graduate programs online in 16 areas of study.

Thanks to the increased flexibility of online learning, you can:

  • Access high-quality degrees and faculty no matter where you live.
  • Take more control of your study time.
  • Fit school into your life schedule.
  • Have more course and scheduling options.
  • Take advantage of the different learning opportunities provided online.

“In addition to the convenience and flexibility of online learning, there are great collaborative and multimedia tools and resources available online that enable students to create and learn in new ways,” said Beverly Russell, Associate Director of University of Nebraska–Lincoln Online & Distance Education.

Furthermore, students develop online communication, technology and teamwork skills that increasing numbers of employers expect. The asynchronous element of online learning also prompts students to be more careful and reflective in their responses to instructors and peers."

Though many of these benefits are similar to UNHS, college-level courses may be more rigorous, structured and interactive than what you have experienced so far.

According to Gloria Vavricka, Director of eCampus for the University of Nebraska at Kearney, students can expect to spend nine to 12 hours per week on a typical three-credit-hour online course. These courses will move faster than high school courses, requiring students to absorb more challenging material and meet deadlines since many follow standard 16-week semesters.

That’s why, before choosing an online post-secondary program, Dr. Bob Mathiasen, College Academic Adviser for University of Nebraska–Lincoln Online & Distance Education, suggests you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I a self-learner?
  2. Am I a procrastinator?
  3. How are my time management skills?
  4. Do I learn better in a structured classroom setting where there is more interaction with my instructor and fellow students?

Your answers to these questions can show you what skills you should work on now to be successful at the next level.

  • If you are not a self-learner, consider what strategies and techniques you can practice to gain self-motivation.
  • If you procrastinate or do not have great time-management skills, start using tools such as calendars, to-do lists and goal-setting to improve.
  • If you learn better in a classroom or with more interaction, an on-campus program may be a better option, and we will discuss this in a later article.

According to Dr. Mathiasen, who has worked with online students for more than 20 years, a successful online college student is:

  • Self-disciplined
  • Motivated
  • Sees purpose in why he or she is enrolled in an online course—such as working to complete a degree that could lead to career advancement and a better life.

Katie Sup Rezac, Assistant Director for Academic Advising with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Division of Continuing Studies, added that students should be.

  • Organized
  • Excellent time managers
  • Adaptable
"Some prospective students feel that online study will take less time; however, this is not the case. Online coursework can be more time intensive because it includes so much written communication."
Katie Sup Rezac

With this information in hand, as you embark on your college search also begin a personal exploration of your current skill set. There is a whole world of educational opportunities for you to pursue, now is the time to gather the personal tools, so you can take advantage of them successfully.