Lisa Rhoden

Lisa Rhoden

“My advice to other online students is to always focus, whether you are listening to a lecture or completing an assignment. If you can't focus, you won't get anything out of your class and you will fall behind.”

What does a bachelors degree in business administration and healthcare management entail?

Business administration and healthcare management involve all areas of managing a business with special focus on healthcare. It includes marketing, business ethics and organizational behavior principles.

As a student, I am learning the fundamentals of running a business, particularly in the healthcare field. When I graduate, I would like to open my own business as a medical transcriptionist or work in the medical records department of a hospital. I can also begin a career in medical billing and coding, or even work in human resources within the medical field.

What factors went into your decision to pursue your bachelors degree online?

My daughter was my biggest reason for pursuing my bachelors degree. When I graduated from high school, I postponed my college education to raise my children. When my daughter graduated from high school, she told me I was her hero, and said that it was time for me to go back to school. My daughter's words inspired me and gave me the courage to enroll in a bachelors program after more than 20 years away from school.

What are the main reasons you chose to get your degree from Colorado Technical University Online as opposed to any other online school?

I chose to attend Colorado Technical University Online because of my advisor. When I was researching online schools, an advisor from Colorado Technical University Online called me and explained everything I needed to know about the program. His honesty gave me the confidence to enroll at this university.

What are your program requirements?

My business administration and healthcare management program takes 18 months to complete. The curriculum includes courses on topics such as management principles, business law and ethics, marketing, corporate finance, human resources and e-business accounting.

Completing my assignments online has taken some adjustment. At first, having e-books made the coursework difficult. I sometimes could not understand the assigned reading because the e-books were difficult to comprehend. I prefer reading a physical book to reading online because I can analyze the information more efficiently.

Although I had to adjust to the format of the textbooks, I am happy with the quality of my program. The biggest strength is that there are easily accessible resources. In addition to my student advisor, I can receive tutoring from the university's learning center. There is also a technical support center that will help if my computer crashes.

On average, how many students are in each of your classes?

In most of my classes, there are around 20 students. Most of them are men. Some of the students are parents who stay home during the day, but a lot of them work outside of the house.

How are class materials presented?

Most of the class materials are presented through live audio lectures and chats. During the lectures professors give instructions for assignments and gauge attendance by monitoring when I log in. If I miss the live audio, I can listen to a recording. But I prefer to listen live because I can ask questions during the lecture.

To supplement the lectures, professors also assign reading from e-books. Although it is convenient to access all of my materials online, the only downside is that doing so much reading on the computer screen strains to my eyes.

Besides online lectures and e-books, some classes require individual projects and discussion board participation. One of my classes only used discussion boards with no additional assignments. I prefer classes where I can also work on individual assignments because I have more opportunities to interact with the professor directly than when I post on discussion boards.

My advice to other online students is to always focus, whether you are listening to a lecture or completing an assignment. If you can't focus, you won't get anything out of your class and you will fall behind.

What are the most and least useful classes that you have taken?

The most useful classes that I have taken were my human resources, finance and accounting courses. I think they will be very helpful because I want to run my own business in the future.

I also enjoyed the classes that relate to the healthcare field because I learned a lot of new information. For example, in one of my healthcare classes I learned about managing records personnel within a hospital.

The least useful class I have taken was my ethics course. Between my associates degree program and my bachelors degree program, I have completed 3 ethics courses. I feel that 3 ethics classes are unnecessary because my program is focused more on healthcare management that business management.

Do you have an advisor to assist you throughout your program?

Yes, I have a student advisor and also a financial aid advisor. Personally, I do not communicate with my advisors frequently, but when I do it is usually with the financial aid advisor.

How do you interact with your professors?

Professors are available via e-mail, telephone or instant messenger. I typically communicate with my professors online, but I have called on rare occasions.

How knowledgeable do you feel your professors are?

I think that some of my professors are extremely knowledgeable. In particular, my e-business teacher made learning a lot of fun. But I have also had professors who spend entire lectures reading verbatim from the textbook and don't add anything of value to the class.

Some of my professors post an online bio that includes their credentials and links to their personal websites. I like being able to know about their professional and life experiences because I feel more connected with them in the online classroom.

Are you able to get to know your professors on a personal basis?

Yes, I have been able to get to know my professors despite the online environment. In addition to their online lectures, professors also hold designated office hours during which they are available online. I have had good experiences interacting with my professors online. Once, I had to miss a class to care for my mother and my professor left me a nice message telling me not to worry about class.

Based on your experience so far, is there anything you would have done differently in pursuing your bachelors degree online?

The only thing I would do differently in pursuing my bachelors degree online would be to take a semester off after completing my associates degree. I entered this program immediately after finishing my associates degree because I wanted to enter the job market as quickly as possible. But I wish I had taken time to rest between programs.