An older man at a computer.

Online education can be a saving grace for many individuals. San Jacinto College offers 26 associate degrees and 34 certificates 100% online, providing convenience and quality education from home.

Distance learning students have access to all the same resources available to every student at the College, including admissions advising, financial aid, education planning, counseling, tutoring, and career services. These services are available via live chat or Zoom.

1. Save valuable time.

For many individuals, every minute counts between commutes. Online education eliminates worries about traffic congestion, lengthy commutes, or waiting for public transportation. No need to search for a parking spot, trek across campus, or stress about arriving late to class. Less time spent in transit means more personal time. 

2. Spend less.

Enrolling in an online class can result in significant savings on transportation costs like gas, public transportation fares, and vehicle maintenance. This also reduces the chance that car-related issues will hinder attending classes. Being home could also mean less need to purchase meals. 

Students statewide can register for online classes at San Jac, which eliminates the need to relocate, eradicating moving costs.

3. Prioritize family. 

For some students, sacrificing valuable family time and having limited availability for personal responsibilities are deal breakers.

“There is the convenience factor of online education,” said Niki Whiteside, assistant vice chancellor, instructional innovation and support. “Some students might have a full-time job and are unable to make it to campus, and others may not have a caretaker for their loved ones.” 

Studying in the comfort of home frees up valuable time and supports better work/life balance.

4. Boost health and wellness.

Health issues like chronic pain can make it challenging to get to class. Attending school can also feel overwhelming for those dealing with mental health concerns. 

“Anxiety, depression, and PTSD can make it hard to get to campus or feel comfortable while on campus,” said Cayman Tirado, North Campus mental health services program director. “By having remote options, it can lower the barriers and allow interaction with safe boundaries.” 

Attending remotely offers students the comfort of a familiar environment. 

“This can create a sense of security as well,” Tirado said. “One of my students shared that it was hard for her to get out of bed some days due to her depression. Just sitting up in bed and logging on to class helped her start to feel better and more connected.” 

5. Enjoy flexibility.

San Jac offers three types of online classes that offer more flexibility: 

Online anytime: Classes are 100% online with no scheduled meeting times. 

Online on a schedule: Classes are 100% online, but there are scheduled days and times each week when faculty and students meet via Zoom. 

Hybrid: This type combines online and in-person classes. Lectures may be offered online, and hands-on lab work is offered on campus.

“Students appreciate the flexibility of online learning,” Whiteside said. “By having the different modalities available, it helps students fit the pursuit of higher education into their lives.” 

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By Neesha Hosein