It’s smart to do research on online degree programs before applying for admission.
But what kind of research is among the best bets for helping you decide? It turns out that consulting current or former students can help you select the program that’s right for you.
Capella University students and staff highlight four reasons to talk with a student or graduate early in the consideration process.
1. Get more detail.
Reading a school’s website can only give you a slice of what the program will entail. Get the inside scoop from someone who’s experienced Capella’s programs, faculty, and support services.
Here’s what Capella current and former students had to say about it:
“Talking to current or past students allows you to understand the true requirements to get through the coursework. It’s kind of like talking to a friend before going to eat at a restaurant to find out if the type of food and service would be something you’d like.” – Bryan Agosto, MS IT FlexPath Graduate*
“I felt overwhelmed by the number of online MBA programs that are offered. I wanted to ensure that my investment was going to help me achieve my career goals. Researching online and reading testimonials felt like it was only giving me one perspective and just wasn’t going deep enough. I felt that it would be best to seek advice from individuals who have experience in the programs and could give me more personalized guidance.” – Mike Ezzo, MBA FlexPath Student*
Getting details from students is also encouraged by Capella’s enrollment counselors:
“We definitely recommend connecting prospective students with current or past Capella students for many different reasons. Whether it’s learning more about how a specific program has made a direct impact on their career, or how they balance school with work and life, or which learning format best fits their lifestyle, prospective students have the opportunity to hear real feedback from people who have gone through these same decision-making factors.” – Bridget Rewitzer, Capella Enrollment Counselor
2. Get a sense of work-life-school balance.
Capella’s online learning formats, GuidedPath and FlexPath, are designed for busy, adult professionals with families and other real-life responsibilities. But how can you be sure they’re flexible enough to meet your needs?
Talking with a Capella student can help you:
- Understand the rigors of the program
- Hear how others fit school into their busy lifestyle
- Find out how GuidedPath and FlexPath work in real life
Agosto recalls a conversation he had with a Capella student before enrolling in his MS IT program:
“This student talked about how much time it took and how he felt it impacted his daily life. It was something that I wanted to be cognizant of due to my family obligations and workload. Based upon his responses and the flexibility built into the FlexPath format, I thought that it was going to be the perfect fit. And it truly was.“
3. See how a degree from Capella can impact your career.
Learning how a specific program has made a direct impact on someone else’s career can help you visualize it for yourself.
Ezzo had a list of questions on this topic ready for the students he spoke to:
“I brought specific questions to ask:
- Why did you decide to pursue an online degree?
- How did your degree help elevate your career?
- Do you feel it was worth the investment to obtain your advanced degree?
These were all questions that I wanted answered from someone’s firsthand experience. From there, it opened up a more general conversation and helped make my decision.”
4. Connect with peers and potential mentors.
Knowing a peer before you begin the program is a great start to building the support network you need while in your program. A Capella enrollment counselor can help make the introduction for you. After that, you’re welcome to continue talking via phone or email.
And if you really make a connection with a former student, why not turn it into a mentoring relationship to help you through the program and your career? That’s what Ezzo did:
“I spoke with three former students who helped me grow my personal and professional network. From there, I built a mentor relationship that continues to this day.”
*Actual Capella students who agreed to appear in promotional materials for Capella.
Learn more about Capella’s support services, and talk with an enrollment counselor to connect with a current or former Capella student.