Anyone who has faced the complexity of overlapping terms knows how challenging it can be. During my 2014 Fall season at SUNY Empire State College (ESC) I’m faced with exactly that dilemma. I’m currently involved with three studies.
My attempt to balance all three, and meet all of my obligations outside of school, has proven my theory right…this Fall is going to be a challenge.
It has been a fight, but I feel like I’m up to the challenge.
Part of the difficulty I’ve faced during these terms was the early interruption caused by my trip to Victoria, British Columbia. I lost 5 evenings and 4 weekend days of potential study time making that trip; which is an eternity for a non-traditional student.
I’m also a little worn. Life as a non-traditional college student is taxing. My first college degree is right around the corner, soon I’ll be graduating with my Associate in Science degree; concentrating in Information Technology. I feel a little like I’m sliding into home and a huge catcher is standing between me and the plate.
Now in my second year with ESC I’m taking the final two courses that fill out my associate’s degree.
Here is a break down of my studies this fall.
Fall Term 1
Exploring The Disciplines: Information Systems
Exploring the disciplines is a educational planning course. Educational planning is a required skill for all graduates at ESC, and it serves a couple of purposes. First, it aids students in the process of designing their degree plans (an experience unique to students at SUNY Empire). Second, it equips the student with lifelong learning skills that are useful not only for self growth but also developing persistent relevancy in their chosen fields (long past the day they receive their diplomas).
Project Management is an essential skill for all would be managers in the Information Technology/Information Systems fields. This course is actually a part of my bachelor’s program. Project Management is one of those courses that I wish I could dedicate a lot more mental energy to than I have available trying to balance academics this fall. There is so much information there, and so little time to wrap my head around it. Plus it’s very hands on in the sense that the course is built around actually applying what you’re learning as the course carries on. This is a very fast paced, content heavy course. Very challenging and thus will be very rewarding when I complete it. Bonus, it introduces students to MS Project (although 2010, which is a good thing considering the cost associated with 2013).
Fall Term 2
Quite possibly the strangest math course I’ve ever taken. This is a foundational course for me; starting a series of four mathematics courses that are part of my bachelor program. I selected this course as a recommendation from my mentor. Visualizing Mathematics is intended to favor the visual-spatial elements of my learning style; and bridge the gulf that exist between my previous studies in math and my future study of algebra. This course is really only a couple of weeks in, and hands down the most fun of my three courses (I know I just said that about math, don’t tell anyone).
Overlapping terms is a challenge, but I’m going to confidently drive on to success this Fall.
Beautiful Autumn Leaves picture in the heading.