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How Online Courses Prepare You for Post-Secondary

How Online Courses Prepare You for Post-Secondary

For many high school students, high school is not the end destination, rather it is the final step towards their post-secondary journey.  This transition for many students can be difficult – not only do their classes become increasingly difficult, but they are also now often on their own for the first time.  This can be an overwhelming time for many students, and most are told by their guidance counsellors, teachers, friends, and family the same story – expect your grades to drop, especially in the first semester!  But that doesn’t always have to be the case, with proper preparation students can make this transition an enjoyable, rewarding one.  One way I suggest students prepare themselves for this transition is through taking an online class – these courses can be the perfect method of gaining a variety of skills that will help them succeed in their post-secondary endeavours.

Time Management

One of the things that students struggle with most often when transitioning to postsecondary school is time management.  In the past, they had teachers, counsellors, and parents to help them schedule their time, remind them of upcoming due dates, and keep an eye on how they were spending their free time.  Once a student enters college or university, they have often moved out of the house, and find that their professors are very hands-off!  This can be an adjustment, as students need to learn to effectively manage their own time.  Online courses ask students to work independently and create their own schedules.  By their nature, online courses are unstructured, leaving the responsibility to the student to work their way through the course, rather than the pace being dictated by the teacher.  This can be a wonderful opportunity to strengthen their time management skills and to test their own ability to manage theory time effectively and efficiently.

Sense of Personal Responsibility

Even for the most independent students, it can be easy to slip into the habit of relying on teachers and parents to give them reminders about their homework, upcoming tests, or other school and personal responsibilities.  Once students move on to postsecondary school, many of these supports fall away and the transition to needing to be fully responsible for their own commitments and deadlines can be jarring, and often nerve-wracking.  Online courses ask students to work independently, without direct and regular input from the teacher, forcing them to take on responsibility for completing the course, rather than being allowed to become passive in their own learning experience.  Online courses encourage students to develop personal responsibility and self-reliance, skills they will find to be invaluable once they transition to postsecondary school.


One of the biggest transitions that a student faces when moving from high school to university or college is learning to self-advocate.  In high school, there are a number of supports checking in regularly with students, whether that be their teacher, guidance counsellor, or parents.  Once students enter postsecondary, most of these supports are removed, and students will find they do not receive help unless they actively seek it out.  Approaching a professor or teaching assistant can be a frightening endeavour, especially for students who are used to being approached by teachers asking if they need anything.  Now that the onus is on them to seek out help, many students feel lost as to how to even begin.  Online courses help nurture this skill, as students are completing courses at their own pace and being encouraged to learn more independently.  While teachers will check in with students who have not been active, there is an expectation that students will reach out to ask for help or one-on-one sessions.  This is a soft introduction to self-advocacy for students, learning to approach their online teacher will give them the confidence and self-assuredness they need to approach their professors at university or college.

The transition from high school to postsecondary can seem overwhelming to many students, and while there will always be an adjustment period, taking online high school courses can be a fun, effective, and educational way to make this transition much more enjoyable!  So why wait, sign up for an Ontario online high school course today!

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