January 15, 2008
Are you a former student kicking yourself for dropping out
before you earned that degree? Have an Associate’s degree and
looking to go to the next level? Do you wish to further your
education but can’t seem to fit it into your busy schedule?
Consider online learning.
Patrick Conlon did. He dropped out of St. John’s in 1990 to join
the military. He later tried a SUNY school but was “not impressed”
and returned to St. John’s at night. Sidetracked again, this
time by life events that required him to move to upstate, he
dropped out a second time.
In 2005, Patrick’s brother told him about a new online
program at St. John’s: ”When I realized that the degree that I had
been working on for so long was still possible after all this time,
my outlook changed,” he says. “Opportunity was knocking and you
better believe I was going to answer. I enrolled.”
Colleen Ramos came back too. She was recently re-admitted to St.
“I’ve been working in the HR marketplace for over 15 years
now... believe it or not, with all the years of experience I have
within Human Resources, some companies would not consider my
candidacy without the bachelor's degree. A recruiting colleague
suggested I go back to where I originally attended school and see
if they now offer online degrees. It was a fantastic idea,
especially being I have so many credits with St. John's. I
was afraid of transferring to another school and losing so many
credits…Not to say an online option is easy…but [it] can be
accomplished in any timeframe convenient for me (especially with a
4-year-old boy and 18-month girl!).”
One of the most remarkable technology innovations that has taken
place in the past decade, online learning allows you to pick up
where you left off. Whether you are around the corner from a St.
John’s campus or around the world, you can finish your degree—or
earn an advanced degree—online.
“It’s a rich, multi-cultural educational experience,” says
Jeffery E. Olson, Ph.D., J.D., Associate Provost and Director
of Library and Information Science at St. John’s. “It’s flexible,
collaborative and it’s transforming the University as we know
Thirty-nine students were enrolled in St. John’s online
undergraduate programs during the recently concluded fall semester,
the largest number since the undergraduate programs were first
offered in 2004. (Graduate programs began being offered in 2003 and
individual classes were offered for the first time in 2000.) The
spring term begins January 23. There’s still time to enroll.
“The same faculty, the same curriculum, the same calendar”
explains Elizabeth Alexander, Assistant Director of Online Learning
& Services. “And don’t write us off until you receive your
financial aid package because you’ll receive the same consideration
for assistance whether you’re studying on campus or at your home
But financial aid is only one of the benefits you’ll enjoy.
Every full-time student in the University’s Online Degree Program
receives a free laptop computer and can take advantage of the many
other “perks” offered to on-campus students. Beyond financial aid,
that includes an assigned academic advisor, the ability to apply,
register and pay your bill online, and access to our library
resources, Counseling Center and Career Center (rated one of
America’s best by “The Official, Unbiased Insider’s Guide to the
320 Most Interesting Colleges).”
In addition, you’ll be able to use the University web portal,
St. John’s Central, to email your professors and interact with
fellow students. St. John’s Central will also keep you abreast of
University news and events.
Students who are contemplating a transfer from another college
or university might also consider online learning with St. John’s.
And those who have earned an associate’s degree from a community
college should be aware that they are also eligible for financial
aid consideration from St. John’s, Alexander notes.
At present, St. John’s offers six undergraduate programs online
A.A. in Liberal Studies;
A.S. in Business;
A.S. in Criminal Justice;
B.A. in Liberal Studies;
B.S. in Administrative Studies; and
B.S. in Criminal Justice, all in the College of Professional
Four graduate degree programs are now also available online: the
School of Education’s
School Building Leader Masters, the
School District Leader Professional Diploma, and the just
M.S. in Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood
Education, as well as the
M.A. in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Global Development and
Social Justice, offered in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences. The latter, instituted two years ago, is designed for
working professionals with special attention to the talents and
experiences, the needs and learning styles of adult learners.
“The greatest benefit to a distance learning degree program is
its flexibility,” Conlon explains. “You don’t have to attend
classes at a scheduled time so any scheduling conflicts are
virtually eliminated…you still have to put in a great deal of work,
but if 6 p.m. every other Thursday isn’t good for you, and if this
is the type of thing that has kept you from pursuing your degree,
the answer you have been waiting for is Distance Learning.”
Now six credits from a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice
from St. John’s, Conlon is poised to graduate in the Class of 2008.
“A degree from any university is an accomplishment,” he says. “But,
I have always viewed a degree from St. John’s as an achievement.
There is a big difference.”
Read other students’ testimonials to online learning