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NC eLearning Success Stories

Sara McMillen

Sara McMillen

Community College Instructor

Location: Dobson, NC

My name is Sara McMillen.  I have taught online classes at Surry Community College for the past four years.  I love the online environment and the opportunities it holds for the students who are involved.

Speaking of opportunities, I will quote some of my former students who ventured into the online experience…

“I love online classes because I get to choose when to “attend” class.  Of course it is usually around 11:00 or 12:00 at night when the kids have gone to bed.  But it works out so good for me.  I love choosing my schedule.  I am an extremely busy person and its great for school to be flexible.  I also feel so good each time I complete a class because I know it took lots of self motivation to do it.”

“Online classes are definitely good if you are busy. I work 40-50 hours per week and have a one-hour commute so online works out great because of that.”
“I am thrilled that the only classes have become more and more accessible. I have looked forward to this day!  For me on line classes are much more convenient.  I work full time, try my best to go to school full time and have a 2 year old daughter so my schedule stays pretty booked.  On line classes give me the opportunity of school around my schedule which works for me. “

“I am 40 minutes away from Surry, so when I go there for the fall/spring semester it does take a toll on my gas payment.”
“I love online classes. This is my second semester taking online classes full time. I really don’t have any choice being a non-traditional student I have a full time job, three boys, and stay very busy with youth sports. I am very dedicated to my studies and thank goodness for online classes because I can work on them when I have a window of opportunity. I have found that if you make yourself get online everyday and are very dedicated you can do very well with online classes.”

“This is my third semester taking online classes and I love it. I like being able to do everything at home and communicating through discussion boards and e-mail. I also like being able to work at little more at my pace online, rather than in a classroom. I take classes both on campus and online, so I am able to take more classes. The flexibility is great in online classes.”

So, how do you know if the online environment is right for you?  Based on my online teaching experiences, I would have to say that the students who do well in the online environment have some common attributes.  These students are
• Organized in regards to keeping a calendar and focusing on upcoming activities and due dates of particular assignments
• Motivated to study independently every day and complete work by the due dates
• Dedicated to working in a course even when there is not a graded assignment due
• Willing to not just watch the computer screen.  In other words, these students actively take notes as if they were in a traditional seated course.
• Willing to ask questions and communicate needs effectively with the instructor (and possibly even classmates)
• Devoted to utilizing all resources or tools which the instructor offers
• And, of course, these students have access to a computer every day!

If you think the online environment is right for you, check out Surry Community College’s online offerings. See if it is right for you!