7 Steps for Online College Success

7 Steps for Online College Success

Are you looking for quality, flexibility, and academic rigor? Here at UC Online, our innovative programs were designed to help you take the next step toward advancing your career — without leaving home or sacrificing your lifestyle. But while we know that distance learning is an effective way to further your education, we also know it can come with its own unique challenges.

If you’re taking the leap and want to ease your transition into the virtual classroom, here are 7 steps that can prepare you to be a successful online college student.

1. Equip yourself with the required hardware and software.

Read through your various class syllabi to learn about the required materials. Typically, these include a laptop or desktop computer, high-speed internet, and at least two web browsers. Once you’ve prepared the proper requirements, make sure everything is up to date, working and, most importantly, that you know how to use it all.

If you’re still unsure, you can contact tech support to confirm your equipment meets the program’s requirements.

2. Form a plan with your support system.

Earning an online degree can be life-changing — before, during, and afterwards — which is why a support system is key to achieving academic and professional success. Work together to plan out how you will balance work, family, and any other important activities in your life while earning your degree.

3. Get in touch with your Student Success Coordinator.

Once you are confirmed in a program you’ll be assigned a Student Success Coordinator who will be there to help you on your academic journey — in other words, they’re committed to helping you be successful. Reach out to them prior to the start of the semester to ask about time commitments, online orientation, university activities, or any other questions you might have. Student Success Coordinators are typically available via phone, text, or email.

4. Introduce yourself to your professors.

Establishing a positive relationship with your instructors can be a helpful step when beginning a new semester, especially for an online student. Taking the time to introduce yourself, to explain why you’re taking the course, and to ask any questions you have will start your relationship off right — plus, it can be done through a simple email.

5. Attend your program’s orientation.

If your degree program offers a virtual orientation or open house, attending can not only help acclimate you to the online environment, but it can also teach you how to navigate your classes and connect you with support services. What’s more, it can offer the chance for you to ask questions and provide practical advice to prepare you for the first day of class.

6. Utilize your online resources.

Students taking courses at UC Online have access to the same quality education and support services as students taking courses on campus. We are fully invested in your success; which is why we offer comprehensive student support and career development services ranging from an academic writing center and online library to counseling and career coaching.

7. Visit campus virtually or in person.

Visiting the University of Cincinnati can build a lasting connection that will help you feel more engaged in the online classroom by acquainting you with our campus environment and its student culture. If visiting in person is possible, consider attending an event such as homecoming, a football game, or one of our numerous alumni events.

If you’re unable to make the trip, you can always explore UC’s beautiful urban campus with our virtual walking tour. This interactive guide allows you to see the university through the eyes of an on-campus student, but from the convenience of your home.


It’s true that online learning can present challenges, but there’s no need to worry if you’ve prepared yourself. So — are you

ready to get started? For more information on choosing or preparing for one of our online degree programs, check out the UC Online Blog and take our Online Readiness Quiz.

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Need additional student resources?
Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
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