Noelle Muratore is a student at Penn State World Campus and shares her thoughts on what it is like to take courses.
Courses taken per term: 4
Hours spent on program per week: 15–17
Current hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Distance from University Park: 211 miles
As a Penn State World Campus student, what does a typical school day look like for you?
After I wake up and get ready for the day, I check my Penn State email and look over my planner to see what I need to accomplish that day. I read my course materials early in the week. Later in the week, I begin work on my graded assignments. Since I don’t have to take time to commute to school, I can use it to get more things done. I enjoy being able to work at my own pace, but being an online student takes a lot of extra discipline. I have to make sure I budget my time wisely to accomplish everything by its due date. Overall, I really enjoy the time flexibility I have because I can switch around my schedule to make time for other things I need or want to do.
Where do you complete your course work?
Typically, in my room at my desk. Although, I have worked in airports and other states. When traveling, it is important that I make note of any new time zone I enter so I still turn in my assignments on time.
What do you like most about Penn State World Campus?
Before receiving treatment for Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome (CMS), I would have said the fact that it is all virtual. This is because it would have been very difficult for me to get around a physical campus. CMS affects how signals are transmitted to muscles. Common symptoms include limb weakness, fatigue, and facial weakness. There are many different types of CMS. Some individuals can improve with treatment (i.e., medication). In addition, symptoms vary and may be more prevalent or less prevalent, depending on the individual. Now that I have much more endurance, time flexibility is what I like most about Penn State World Campus. Because I can walk around freely, I like going places. For example, I live close to Washington, D.C., and enjoy exploring around there. I also travel fairly frequently to visit loved ones in other states. Being an online student also makes it easier to schedule important appointments!
Why did you choose Penn State World Campus?
After I graduated from high school, I decided to go to Northern Virginia Community College because they offered a complete online program. I needed to buy some time to figure out where I could transfer to next because I was living with an undiagnosed congenital muscular condition. This made it very difficult for me to walk most days. It was not uncommon for me to go a week not being about to walk more than two steps before I needed to use my crutches. When I found out Penn State offered full online degree programs, I did not think twice. It was also a huge relief because I knew I could get the quality education I wanted and not have to worry about how I would get to class.
What would you tell someone thinking about enrolling in a Penn State World Campus program?
Go for it! Online and traditional education do have their differences; however, one thing that remains the same is the quality of education provided. That is what is most important and that is what Penn State World Campus absolutely offers.