Rural communities offer a number of both challenges and unique benefits. Ironically, the potential challenges can also be strengths at the same time – depending on your situation and needs.
The majority of colleges locate in suburban and urban areas. Rural college options are limited and rarely offer a wide curriculum. The local library will not house an extensive academic collection and extra curricular activities are limited. Colleges are also small and students isolated by distance or other geographic barriers. Recruiting lecturers and obtaining resources to educate present challenges sometimes.
Smaller communities and colleges can create a very pleasant student life in terms of accommodation, campus and community involvement. Rural communities tend to be supportive and close knit. Small towns often offer a focussed, healthy and quiet learning environment and become a student town. Classes are smaller and individual attention and interaction is easier to accomplish. Lecturers, advisors and administrators are more accessible. Rural colleges have small student bodies. Students frequently can participate in a extracurricular activities, because fewer students are competing for available spots on teams and leadership positions in clubs.
If you prefer staying in a rural area and cannot study towards your qualification of choice, consider taking advantage of the increased number of distance learning options that have become available. It is now possible to obtain certifications, advanced diplomas, or continuing education credits with the help of correspondence colleges. This will allow you to have access to an unlimited variety of courses, lecturers, international institutes and their membership benefits. Student in remote areas can now easily develop academic and supportive relationships with fellow students, lecturers and mentors through interactive computer technologies such as social media, virtual field trips, video-conferencing, and chat rooms. A library with an extensive or academic collection may not be within reasonable driving distance, or counselling services are not available or are limited but solutions exist through resources via the Internet.
How do you know if distance learning is right for you?
Correspondence studies are not for everyone. Compare yourself to the following list to determine whether it is a good fit for your personality and habits.
- Successful distance learners do just as well, without people looking over their shoulders. They are able to motivate themselves and set their own goals.
- Successful distance learners never procrastinate. These students enjoy the freedom of working at their own pace and understand that putting off their work too often can end up adding months, if not years, to their studies.
- Successful distance learners can resist constant distractions.
- They feel all right about missing the social elements of traditional college campuses.
- They have good reading comprehension skills and understand a large amount of information without the direct guidance of a teacher. If your first language is not English you might need to assess your level of English. Free online tests are available to test your written an comprehension skills – e.g. www.englishclub.com This will indicate how well you understand what you read. If you are concerned about the level of your English – consider enrolling for a short course in English first.
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