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Tips for Success

Guidelines to follow
  1. One of the most important components for success in a correspondence course is time management. A certain amount of time should be set aside on a routine basis. You should try to study at the time of day when your concentration is at its highest.

  2. The majority of our three-hour courses contain fifteen lessons and two exams. As a rough guide, no less than seven to ten hours should be allocated per lesson for each course. In addition, allow time to incorporate the instructor's feedback and to prepare for an average of two exams. Although you are allowed to submit a maximum of three lessons per week, you are encouraged to work at a slower pace, provided your schedule allows this. This department allows nine months to complete a course; however, your own college may set a more restrictive deadline.

  3. Maintain self-discipline and self-motivation. These qualities should be easier to maintain if time management is already in place. Success depends largely on commitment to the course. Everyone has his or her own way of motivating himself or herself—whatever the method, self-motivation is a crucial component to success.

  4. Plan your course completion schedule with care so that you have plenty of time to submit all lessons and take your exams at least 30 days before the date you need your final grade.

  5. Use the help that is available:

    • Each course contains an introduction that explains the instructor's expectations. Be certain to read and follow this information. In addition, scan the course to see if any supplementary work—such as field work, interviews, book reviews, or term papers—is involved.

    • The instructor will grade the lessons and provide feedback—be certain to read and follow the feedback.

    • The staff of the Office of Independent and Distance Learning is committed to assisting you—please call our staff, and we will do our best to assist with any problems that may arise.

    • Make a copy of your lesson assignments before submitting them to Independent and Distance Learning.

Actions to avoid
  1. Do not order textbooks before reviewing the course material. Although we try to ensure that the information on the website is accurate, there are times between publication dates when the textbooks change.

  2. Do not complete all lessons at one time under any circumstances. Learning is a step-by-step process that will be greatly enhanced by waiting for feedback from the instructor.

  3. Remember that the Office of Independent and Distance Learning will accept no more than three lessons a week (i.e., seven calendar days) per course.

  4. Do not rely too heavily on your textbook when doing your lesson assignments. To be prepared for an exam, you must learn the material, not just look it up in the textbook.

  5. Do not wait until the last minute to take your exams, as it might not be possible to get you final grade in time to meet your deadline.

  6. Do not discard your study materials or sell your textbook until your final course grade report arrives in the mail.

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