Where to Find Help for Common Problems
One of the obstacles people face when considering online education is a feeling of unfamiliarity. If you’ve never attended an online school before, then you’re probably not sure where to look for answers to any questions you may have. We consulted Ashford University students and alumni and asked them for their advice on where students can look for help in tackling some of the common problems online students confront.
Advisors are Your First Line of Defense
“Use all of the excellent resources that Ashford provides, and don’t be afraid to reach out to advisors,” said Lynn Williams.
Realizing online education is still new to many people, Ashford provides each student with advisors who can assist with most aspects of the online experience. An Enrollment Services Advisor will be your first point of contact at Ashford and will help you during the admissions process all the way through your first course.
After your first course, a Student Advisor will become your primary contact and will advise you throughout the rest of your journey at Ashford. Student Advisors can help with issues like scheduling and navigating the online classroom. As a good rule of thumb, your Student Advisor is an excellent person to consult whenever you have a question and you’re not sure who to ask.
One critical area that falls outside of the Student Advisor’s purview is financial aid. But never fear, each student will have access to a Financial Services Advisor who can answer questions about paying for your education.
Learn from Your Professors
“Get to know your professors! That relationship is so important to your learning abilities,” said Crystal Mishoe. “Professors are available by email and phone. If you have questions on assignments, reach out. I also discussed their feedback on the first few assignments of each course. This way I could master it by mid-course. They want you to succeed.”
When it comes to academic matters, your professors are your best resources. Ashford is proud to offer a 13:1 student to faculty ratio because it allows students to form a more personal connection to professors. Introduce yourself to your professors, interact with them, and reach out when you have questions.
“Always learn from instructor feedback,” Rebecca Frank-Rusnak advised.
“Ashford does have a great program that can help called the CHAMPS program, where you can get a mentor that will help you along the way,” said Aleshia Wisch. “I am a part of the CHAMPS team, and I know that we work very hard to mentor new enrollees to help them succeed.”
Many students arrive at Ashford after a long absence from school, and they can sometimes have questions about how to write papers, how to study, and how to be a student again. To help with some of these issues, the CHAMPS program matches new students with successful, upper-division students who act as mentors. The mentoring relationship can prove highly beneficial because students are able to express their concerns to someone who has walked in their shoes.
And Many Other Resources, Too
“Ashford provides so many resources,” said Latoya Finch. “The best advice is to rely on your resources.”
Indeed, there are numerous resources available to help students navigate their way through their Ashford education. For example, the Ashford Writing Center provides guidance on formatting assignments in the APA style, gives feedback on papers, and offers 24/7 chatting. In the online Ashford University Library, you will find research for your class assignments. The Library also offers 24/7 assistance. The Office of Student Access and Wellness can provide accommodations if you feel a disability might impede your education. Career Services will even help to prepare you for professional life after Ashford. Plus, there are many other departments, services, organizations, and tools that cater specifically to the needs of students.
This partial list of student resources should suggest that help is always available to students. As Margie Martinez said, “Know that you’re not alone. The staff, administrators, advisors, and instructors are all there to help you if you need.”
Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education