Gaining Field Experience When You?re Taking an Online Class

By earning your degree online, you are hoping to fit your courses into your busy schedule while enjoying an interactive experience that doesn’t require heavy books or long commutes. If you’ve decided to pursue your online degree in healthcare, education or business, you understand that hands-on field experience is required for expertise in the industry.

But how do you gain field experience when your classroom is online?

Your online school understands that your proficiency depends on applied training. Here are the different ways you can gain field experience in your chosen career while doing the bulk of your schoolwork at home.

On Site Exposure. Whether your degree is in nursing or you’re working on a bachelor’s of education, your online school will have a list of hospitals, schools and local organizations where you can apply the knowledge you’ve acquired in your online classroom. Most programs will work with you to find sites in your area where you can fulfill your degree requirements at your convenience. An experienced industry professional will also be on site with you to answer questions, provide guidance, and in many cases evaluate your performance. These professionals are often your institution’s faculty members, but can also be instructors at a hospital or school that specializes in teaching and training within your field.

Simulated Exposure. Some online healthcare programs will allow you to gain practical experience through a simulated experience. For example, a nursing program may allow you to complete clinical hours at a simulated lab, which is a created environment that looks like a hospital with lifelike dummies for you to practice on. Traditional healthcare programs will offer this as well, but if you are located near the campus of the school through which you are taking online classes, you can also take advantage of the simulated lab. If your school has a simulated facility, it may be open during evenings, making it convenient for you to complete these requirements on your own schedule.

Virtual Exposure. As online education becomes more prevalent and more interactive, many programs that require field experience are introducing virtual facilities to apply your skills. University of Phoenix’s School of Business offers Virtual Organizations where you can practice problem solving and critical thinking skills in real-world scenarios. Such virtual platforms are also becoming more common in education and healthcare programs. These interactive online learning experiences are a great way to assess situations using what you’ve learned in the classroom before you’re out in the field.

If you have questions, contact your enrollment or admissions counselor. Your online institution will provide you with an enrollment or admissions advisor who can help you with finding the best way to complete the field experience your program requires.

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