Choosing a Program to Finish Your Degree

Choosing the right program to finish your degree is a complex process. You have to weigh a multitude of options, make a lot of choices, and prepare to take on extra responsibilities in addition to your already busy schedule. As a working adult, it can seem difficult to go back to school. With the right program, it doesn’t have to be! Finishing your degree is easier than you think. Here are some things you need to consider when choosing a program.



Make sure you know how long it will take you to finish. Most programs have a set amount of credit hours that you have to complete in order to finish. If you have any college credit from previous schools, make sure you check to see if any of that will count towards your new degree program. The amount of classes you take per semester also factors into how quickly you can finish. At Gardner-Webb, each student is assigned a Success Coach that helps guide you through the enrollment process and advises you during the semester. 


Program type

Online classes allow most working students to complete coursework on their own time, enabling you to work full time during the day. If you prefer seated, face-to-face classes, those options are available as well! No matter what program time you end up in, you will still build meaningful relationships with faculty and classmates. Even online, class sizes at GWU are small. You’ll get to know everyone through interactive discussion boards, collaborative projects, and group assignments. In addition, all 15 programs offered through GOAL-The Degree Completion Program at GWU are offered online, with the exception of the Accelerated RN-BSN program that has certain face-to-face requirements.



It’s also important to think about how much you are willing to invest. After all – your education is an investment in your future, and GOAL-DCP is prepared to ensure that you get the greatest return on that investment. Don’t be afraid to discuss financial aid with your admissions counselor. They will be able to clearly explain your unique financial aid package, and work with you to figure out a plan for paying for college. Understanding your investment is key to making the right choice when choosing a program to finish your degree.


Reaching out to faculty in your desired program can be a great way to determine if it will be a good fit. They will be able to answer any questions that you have about the program itself, including classes and course material. Your professors may become your mentors, and getting to know them a little bit before you enroll is a great way to start building relationships. Faculty can also speak to the community within the program, as they have likely taught many cohorts. As an online student, it can be easy to feel disconnected with the University or with your program. Even though you may not meet your professors or classmates until graduation, you will still build community with them via the internet.