Online Learning and Alumni Services

Online Learning and Alumni Services

Alumni services are an important aspect of any higher learning institution, online learning institutions no exception. Indeed, as more and more people become distance learning alumni, look in coming years for distance learning schools to greatly expand and diversify the services they offer graduates.

One useful resource that a distance learning school can provide is an alumni directory. These directories allow you to search for fellow alums by career, which can help you to network and even to find new jobs. You can also search for people by location; it can be fun to meet others who “attended” the same school you did. Newsletters can also help strengthen alumni bonds by relaying exciting developments at the school and in the lives of its graduates. And regional alumni clubs offer an array of social and business opportunities throughout the year. Ask your school or search Facebook to see if there are any such clubs near your hometown. If not, you might use your directory to contact nearby graduates and form your own club.

Some online schools want alumni to volunteer as school representatives. Just as traditional colleges have alumni who recruit and welcome prospective students – and give them tours – so too can distance learning alums assist new or potential students. Specifically, these representatives can answer student questions through email, instant-messaging conversations and video chats, and offer tips, advice and inside information about the school. Some reps might even choose to mentor a student who lives near them, to meet up in person with that student from time to time to discuss coursework, learning strategies and career options.

Plenty of potential advantages become available once you join an alumni association. You might be able to join an insurance program, which – depending on your job – could mean big savings. In other instances such associations offer special travel and product discounts. And a school’s career services department can provide everything from email alerts regarding job openings to resume review sessions. Finally, since education should be a lifetime’s pursuit, see if you can occasionally sign up for e-lectures that are free for alumni. 

Remember, it’s to your advantage to stay active as an alumnus, to give of your time to your school. (If you can afford it, you may even elect to give of your money; no doubt there are scholarship funds that need contributions.) After all, the more active alumni an online school has, the better that school’s reputation will be, and the better that a school’s reputation is, the more valuable a degree from that school becomes to prospective employers.

Online learning market place

Apr 27, 2012