I recently decided to go back to college.
I’m in a funny situation, because I’m already well into my career, having worked in the Information Technology field for the past 14 years and am now employed as a Systems Engineer responsible for managing several systems at my job, along with a number of other responsibilities and projects that I work on (as does everyone on my team, and I’m sure most IT departments are like that). Between working full-time and having a family, I find it difficult to imagine taking the additional time to enroll in classes at a local college. But despite having gone to a technical school and engaged in some online schooling in the past, I had yet to finish my degree. I looked for an online college that was affordable, had the degree in my field that I was looking for, and was accredited. Penn Foster met that criteria.
I’m excited, or was until I got to my College Algebra course (nah, I kid, I’m loving Penn Foster thus far). One of the neat things about Penn Foster is how their materials are available online. They do ship me physical books, and I cannot take any of the online exams until they do, but it’s awesome to be able to get a head start by reading the upcoming material in the time between finishing one class and starting the next. Not only that, since exams become available before the physical books arrive, I can use the online materials to take them, so I waste little time. Penn Foster’s forward-thinking in this area is a huge plus.
Penn Foster has made an attempt to build an online community (“eCampus”) on their site, as well as being active on Facebook. In a social media sense, it makes the college experience seem a little less disconnected, and they make it easy for people in the same degree programs to come together and discuss their experiences. In this day and age of Twitter and Facebook, it aligns perfectly with the entire concept of “distance learning education”.
I’m sure I’ll discuss my experiences with Penn Foster from time to time. And if anyone else has attended or is current enrolled at Penn Foster, I’d love to hear from you.