Scott Crawford is a third year online Bachelor of Arts student at Ashford University. He is studying organizational management. Scott holds an Associate of Arts in Marketing and Management from Jamestown Business College in Jamestown, New York.
Scott has spent the last 4 years driving trucks. In the next 5 years, he hopes to advance into a management position within the trucking industry.
The greatest factor in my choice to pursue a bachelors degree online was the flexibility of the program. I drive a truck for a living and do not come home often, so being able to do my schoolwork on my own schedule is important.
Though I initially considered attending [unnamed] for my bachelors degree in organizational management, I ultimately chose Ashford University for 3 reasons. First, I appreciated the candid way that the Ashford University enrollment advisor spoke to me. I received an honest list of pros and cons. Second, Ashford University costs less than [unnamed] and has a much broader selection of degrees. Third, and most importantly, Ashford University transcripts do not indicate that the degree was earned online, which I think gives their degrees more credibility on the job market.
Ashford University provides me with support in the form of 2 advisors who help me through my program. I have both an academic advisor and a financial advisor. My academic advisor takes a genuine interest in my progress. She frequently calls me to see if I am having any difficulties with my classes. Likewise, my financial advisor answered all of my initial questions about financial aid when I enrolled and checks in with me at least once a year to verify my financial information.
Organizational management entails a broad study of subjects related to management and technology. Students in the program learn the methods that companies employ to create a more efficient and productive work environment.
Ashford University’s organizational management curriculum emphasizes theories of management and business ethics. The goal is to create communicators and leaders who can handle all eventualities. In order to do so, professors often employ classroom scenarios to give students the chance to put principles taught in our classes into practice.
Once I graduate, I hope to put my education to use and move up in my company. I have been trying to obtain a senior management position there for 4 years and I believe this degree will help me stand out from other candidates.
The organizational management program has fairly standard bachelors degree requirements. It takes 4 years for to complete for students who don’t have transferable credits from associates degrees. The program covers management, business ethics, communication, and leadership theories. I receive practical, hands-on instruction in these areas through participation in classroom scenarios and extensive discussion on course material.
My program has neither a residency nor an internship requirement, though my professors recommend that students complete an internship. However, I do not feel that the lack of a residency requirement harms the quality of my education since I already know the career path that I want to take within my company.
All of the materials for my online classroom are text based. My professors use the class discussion board to assign chapters for the class to read and respond to in writing. One weakness of this structure is the lack of video and audio lectures. I think I would benefit from them because it is helpful to mix different teaching styles into a class for variety.
Still, the online classroom is the best option for students like me. Each of my classes average about 20 students from all walks of life. Most of my peers have families and jobs, and we all need the kind of flexibility that this program offers.
The most useful courses for me have been those that address the core of the program, such as management, communication, ethics and human resources. The ethics classes, in particular, provide me with practical decision-making skills for handling real life situations.
The least useful course I was required to take was a film studies class that taught us about critiquing movies. Though I enjoyed the change of pace, I did not see how the course applied to my program.
My organizational management professors seem very knowledgeable in their fields. On the first day of a course, they introduce themselves and tell us about their qualifications and the schools from which they graduated. Most hold masters or doctorate degrees. These professors educate people for a living, and it shows.
I interact with my professors exclusively through e-mail and message boards. Professors always respond to me within a day when I have questions or concerns. I haven’t gotten to know my professors personally, but I appreciate their honest and professional criticism. They recognize good work and also point out poor work and ask why I could not have done better.
It can be difficult to recognize your professors as authority figures since students do not see them in person. But I caution students who communicate with their professors online to behave respectfully and listen to the excellent criticism and advice that they have.
The one thing I would have done differently was research more before choosing a program. I advise students who are considering this degree to know the program inside and out before making a decision. It is also important for prospective students to have a clear sense of what their job situation will be like while they are in school. Attending an online school for a bachelors degree is an added responsibility for students who have full-time jobs.