Are Academic Advising and Counseling Services Available At An Online College?

All traditional colleges have student services departments which offer academic advising and counseling. Academic advising deals with student questions related to choice of major, what courses to take in which order, and how to deal with failing grades. Counseling services deal more with personal problems such as depression, anxiety and stress. Counselors also work with students on financial problems, career direction, personal relationships and health concerns.  Read on to find out how this “traditional” set up works in the online environment.

The Current Trend is Toward Online Education

Currently the trend is turning to enrollment in online colleges and universities because of the convenience offered by this form of instruction. You can take courses in specialized programs far from where you are living, you can access your course at any time of the day or night, and sometimes you can proceed at your own rate. However, since they are remote sites, do they offer advising and counseling? The answer is “yes,” most of them do offer these services either via online chat sites, e-mail, or phone calls.

Online Education or Distance Learning

When one thinks of online colleges and universities, the University of Phoenix almost always pops into mind, along with DeVry, Kaplan and others. Most of these are private, proprietary schools. However, almost any college in existence today has had to develop a distance learning program in order to compete for enrollment. An article entitled “best accredited online colleges” lists hundreds of traditional colleges which have online programs. With so much being offered, it is more important than ever to be able to get professional advice and counseling about your choice of programs, your career path, and the cost of your education. How do you find such counseling?

Online Advising and Counseling

Almost all of the online colleges and universities offer online advising and counseling services. Some colleges require that you take a pre-enrollment test to assess your skills for coping with online classes. Some large state universities have a Virtual Classroom and Virtual counseling with an online chat room staffed by specially trained graduate students.  MiraCosta College is a small college whose online student services is an excellent example of online advising. You can submit questions regarding choice of courses, drop/add, or classes that will fit into your degree program, and you can expect an answer by e-mail in 3-5 days. During the fall and spring sessions there is a Live Chat room, and you can speak with a counselor by Skype.

Advising and Counseling are Available at Online Colleges

Although a thorough online search did not reveal any general articles on online advising and counseling, almost every college or university that offers online courses will provide some form of these student services. This counseling can vary considerable from school to school. Almost all of the online schools offer a way to send in your questions and receive an answer from a trained academic counselor. Many of the online schools offer online chat rooms and forums, and some even offer direct contact with a counselor via phone calls or Skype.