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Making the connections you need as an online student

By Elena Moffet

When it comes to earning a degree online, an initial concern we often hear from prospective students is whether the experience will be isolating or lonely. They wonder if they need to attend in person to build friendships or engage meaningfully with their instructors.

But that just isn’t the case.

Time and again, Oregon State University Ecampus students say that community doesn’t merely exist in our online classes — it’s designed for it.

When you choose to earn a degree, certificate or microcredential online with Oregon State, you’ll be surrounded by people who want you to succeed — from the beginning stages of information-seeking, all the way to completing your certificate, digital badge or degree.

Here are a few things recent graduates said about the support they found online with Ecampus:

Success coaches streamline your online experience

Ecampus has a dedicated student success team that offers one-on-one coaching sessions to help students outline their goals and talk through strengths and challenges. Our success coaches often help students navigate barriers and help identify resources when they get off track or lose motivation.

“Some of the student support resources that I used the most included the success coaching. I was really undecided on what I wanted to do and what degree I wanted to pursue. They also were amazing and helped me find my internship, which just made me feel like they really cared from day one to the end of my degree.” — Kati Staudt, B.S. in Business Administration

Academic advisors know your degree program

Once you’re admitted to Oregon State, advisors are there to help you troubleshoot the ins-and-outs of your degree. They can help you build class schedules, track your progress and even identify career options as you work toward graduation.

“A lot of people say that online learning can be isolating, but seriously and honestly, I didn’t feel that because of the community. I have this amazing academic advisor, Lindsay Andrews. Every single question that I have about the master’s program, I always reach out to her. And she would be patiently answering my questions.” — Meilianty Gunawan, Ed.M. in Adult and Higher Education

Expert professors who want to see — and help — you succeed

Our online courses are taught by the same Oregon State faculty who teach on-campus programs. These instructors are subject matter experts who have extensive experience in the field and who help you connect your course material to the world at large.

“A lot of [my professors] had worked in the field previous to being employed at Oregon State, so they were very knowledgeable about programs that I wanted to go into. That’s why I am where I am today. I wouldn’t be working as an environmental analyst for a city without their help. They gave me the confidence in myself and in my education to carry it on to the professional realm.” — Kaitlin Thurman, M.S. in Environmental Sciences

You’re doing these courses that are asynchronous and online. That can be challenging at times, especially when you have other things going on. So, having professors that were so easily accessible was a big part of it, who would be willing to jump on a Zoom call with you, answer any questions you might have or walk you through something.” — MacKenzie Sharp, B.S. in Political Science

A diverse group of classmates, in it together

Learning online also means getting connected to classmates of all ages, lifestyles, belief systems and geographies. Often, these people become trusted collaborators, colleagues and friends.

“Working on teams was just so helpful, especially diverse teams because online learning brings so many students from all over the world. There are students bringing their experience from all these workplaces and collaborating together.” — Kati Staudt, B.S. in Business Administration

“I really enjoyed the daily interaction of the discussion posts. I got a chance to converse with people I would never meet any other way in my life. These were people of all ages, from all over the world. So it was just so enlightening.” — Rebecca Sabine Ramsey, B.A. in Liberal Studies

Ready to get started? Our enrollment services team is here to help

The Ecampus enrollment specialists excel at helping with what is often the hardest and more critical part of the journey — getting started. From transcript questions to program information, they demystify the application process, so you can start working toward the future you want.

Whatever your calling, the Oregon State community is ready and waiting to support you.

Contact Ecampus enrollment services

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