How Online Education Prepares Students for University

Person studying

University represents a significant leap forward for students. Suddenly, students are no longer in their safe high school bubble. They must adapt quickly to challenging classes, faster assignment timelines and more intimidating final exams. Moreover, they no longer have a teacher standing over their shoulder telling them to stay on task – they have to keep themselves motivated. 

Consequently, many incoming post-secondary students feel a sense of whiplash in their first semester. And some students (roughly 40%, according to a recent poll) consider dropping out entirely. 

Thankfully, there’s a way to prepare for the rigours of post-secondary education. And it’s right underneath your nose (metaphorically). High school courses through a reputable online school are a fantastic way to hone the skills necessary to make it in university. 

Let’s explain.

Flexible Online Schools Allow Students to Work Ahead

Online schools typically operate on an “asynchronous schedule,” meaning they have no fixed start or end dates, and students can complete the course on their own schedule. Therefore, online students can work ahead in their studies. They can complete prerequisite courses faster, advance to higher grades faster and graduate before their brick-and-mortar counterparts. 

And what do they often do with this newfound head start? They begin prepping for post-secondary school. Online students can create their university applications earlier; they can attend upgrade courses for notoriously challenging classes like MHF4U Advanced Functions; they can audit their prospective courses or research course materials for their upcoming program. Each of these preparatory tactics will help them with the transition into post-secondary. 

Online Education Fosters Self-motivation and Time Management

As mentioned, online education is usually asynchronous – or “self-paced.” Unlike the “instructor-led” classes at a traditional brick-and-mortar school, self-paced studies require students to take charge. Students must set their pace, create their schedule, manage their time effectively and keep themselves driven and self-directed.  

These soft skills prove uniquely advantageous in a post-secondary setting. At university, students need to manage their own time and practice self-motivation. While professors certainly help students, especially during office hours, they will not hold a student’s hands or routinely ask for progress updates. It’s up to the student to do their work in a timely fashion – something online students practice daily. 

Online Education Mirrors Modern Post-Secondary Education

Post-secondary schools are increasingly implementing hybrid or online models of their own. They offer certain courses (even entire programs) online, expecting students to adapt to learning in a digital space. 

An online high school education prepares students for this modern form of education by giving them the digital literacy and online communication skills they need to succeed. Online education also closely mimics modern workplaces, many of which are now digitally dependent and remote. Therefore, online education can help students beyond post-secondary school by preparing them for the career market. 

Moreso than traditional brick-and-mortar schools, online education prepares students for the challenges and pace of university. Online students work ahead in their courses, hone essential soft skills and learn critical digital communication skills that help them succeed in the “sink or swim” world of post-secondary education. 


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