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Second degree online- my experience so far

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I want to write an update for this thread, but I thought it might be useful to have its own thread. I promise to update it as I go.


I've just started a degree through TRU-OL, a BA in Psychology. I have a study contract with the school, that I will do at least 3 courses per term. I have signed up for 5 courses this term, all of which have a standard Sept1-Dec31st schedule, but I must complete all the exams and assignments by the end of the term. Each term is discrete, so I'll need to stay on top of it to make sure my registrations/fee deferrals etc. are current.


I have examined every school's second degree policy in detail to make sure this program qualifies. My goal is to design a courseload that will make me competitive for just about every school in Canada, provided MCAT and GPA is high enough (my MCAT will expire next year, but my 2007 sitting was a 33R, so I'm confident). Some of the schools seem to be reevaluating their second degree policies at the moment, so I am crossing my fngers that I will be OK.


Notes so far:

-I had to sign up for all of the courses between Sept1-10th, due to the way they handle registration. I'm trying to figure a way around this for next term, especially since I haven't gotten my texts in the mail yet and I'm having trouble doing the readings without the texts!

-I happen to be in southern BC for the next 3 weeks, so I think I'm going to make a road trip out to Kamloops to check out the campus, the financial aid office (I'll make them cookies!) and the advising office. Maybe I'll drop in on profs too. :)

-The program advisors are probably going cuckoo over all my transcripts

-I do not know if I will be placed in a "year of study" or not, so I'm playing it safe and enrolling in at least 60% of my courses as 2nd-yr courses. I hope they don't assign me 3rd yr status! I plan on completing this program in 3 yrs

-I've done a lot of "technical medicine" type courses, molecular genetics and biotech and stuff like that. TRU offers a bunch of social work-type courses, so I hope to piggyback those onto my psych degree. I think it will be a great match, but I need to talk to an advisor about it.

-My hope is that it will at the least prepare me for a back-up career I can feel good about. My first degree was in geology/biology, and although there's lots of work, it's really not something I can see myself in forever.

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Good luck Kylamonkey!


Im on the home stretch of my masters (only thesis external review left) and I have done the entire thing via distance. Not one step was taken on campus. It is certainly a more recent phenomenon and some people might have something negative to say about it but I think it is a great format especially once you've been there done that on-campus experience. I wouldnt recommend it for someone out of highschool but for a second degree, online is definately where its at.


For me it has been a difficult experience, doing it online, 2 hour drive from a univeristy library and 8 hours from your professor's office but you learn to adapt and excel given the right personality. In fact the biggest challenge for me was to keep the "school" mind frame because you dontt have the external school environment and academia floating in the air to remind you to study hard and keep on track. After all you are just at home with no other academics floating around to chat with, inspire you, etc. so self-motivation is the key ... as let me tell you it is really easy to just head upstairs and play PS3 or Xbox 360 during an online streaming class because really who will know ... so once you instil a relatively constant amount of self-discipline, allowing for some slack, you will be fine.



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