Is there a normal for undergraduate programs? I am inclined to think so and to say that mine was normal. It was scattered all over the world and took a long time. I started college at a local community college near home but didn’t know what to study. I just took classes, mostly business related because that seemed the most logical direction for someone that doesn’t know what else to study. After 2-years of taking classes with no direction or degree in hand, I needed to get out of town. I felt stifled, so I joined the Navy and took off.
While at my first duty station I did take more classes, but I was stuck in that circle of retaking classes because classes at my old school did not meet the requirements of my new school. I got bored with taking the same old requirements and eventually stopped. However, at my second duty station, the University of Maryland University Colleges was sympathetic to military members and accepted much more of my transcript than the previous school. It was during this tour that I learned many things about myself and the world. I was stationed in Italy, where it was much easier to learn about the humanities of the ancient Romans while walking in their footsteps. I also took my first literature class from UMUC and found that One Thing that I was supposed to study. The Navy did not agree.
After Italy, I landed in San Diego, where Southern Illinois University - Maryland had a hybrid distance program in Workforce Education. This degree was what the Navy felt best suited my career, and it reflected more favorably on my career path. Most of the program met in the classroom with a local professor or someone that flew out from SIUC. We had a class every other weekend, and SIUC laid out the course plan for you. There was an internship done separately and a final research capstone to complete before one was finished with the degree requirements. SIUC allows the military to work their course out of sequence, meaning that students do not have to have finished core requirements before completing degree requirements. I had finished the general education requirements, so when I completed the program, I earned my degree and thought about continuing. The next step in the program did not appeal to me, however, so I did not go back to school. I have had thoughts of law school or art school, but this year I decided that I want to go back and study English. That is when I found SNHU.
I have been excited for classes to start since I talked to the admissions office. I plan on taking all the required classes first. The writing and research methods I did has part of my undergraduate work should form a basis for the work I will need to do for my graduate work. Then I will move on to the subject areas that I want to study. I am expecting citation requirements to be different as my work previously used a different style manual. I am not sure what other differences to expect, but I look forward to the journey.
I expect to use the library frequently. While I will use resources online, I will also take advantage of local libraries and the occasional field trip to the University of Florida to use their resources.