If you are one of the thousands of adult learners who commute to day or evening classes, you might want to take a minute and do some cursory calculations. When doing your calculations try to include those “hidden casualities.”
Consider the following:
- Cost of gas and vehicle maintenance. Actual commute to class (meets 2 or 3 times weekly) represents a 30 mile roundtrip.
- Time “suckage” associated with that commute due to sitting in “parking lots” called highways. Remember, time equals money. The unpredicatiblity is another factor since there are no consistent routines with the commute to class.
- Parking and ancillary fees associated with the commute.
- Lost wages because you have to “beat the rush” to class.
- What ill effects will the stress associated with the commute have on you today, this week, next month, next year?
- How does the commute and those evening classes negatively impact your family and the relationships that mean the most to you?
With all the advances in online education, the “zero commute” option is a viable alternative to earning your degree and enhancing your life.
What you are doing to improve yourself through earning your degree is hard enough. Don’t add things that will make that journey more difficult.
Learn from Home with Online Learning
What does make sense to me, in the space that I occupy, is online learning as a viable option for those who are seeking to continue their education, especially commuter students, but don’t want the hassles or travel costs associated with doing so. Coinciding with this is another interesting development that I know which is that higher gas prices have community college students, in my backyard of Virginia, changing their habits.
“More and more of our students are opting to do distance learning courses which means they can take the classes from home,” George Gabriel, vice president for advancement at Northern Virginia Community College, said in a recent article.
Annual growth on distance learning programs is 12 to 15 percent, he says. Last year, about 14,000 students took distance learning classes. NOVA now offers more than 100 such classes.
At NOVA, some campuses have moved to a two-day a week class schedule from a three-day schedule. Classes that had been on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are now on Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays.