How to Master the Art of an Online Open House

By Lori Danley, Learning Services Coordinator

CTU Student Success - Get the most out of an Open HouseSpring is a time of new beginnings. In a few weeks, I’ll be planting tomato seeds in my mini greenhouse so I can begin growing tomato plants in my vegetable garden. Over the next few months, I’ll water, weed and fertilize them. I’m already dreaming of harvesting bushels of perfect, ripe red tomatoes later this year. As students start college this term, they’ll also be dreaming of their own harvest: Successfully completing their programs and beginning their dream careers.

Obtaining a degree requires the same preparation, persistence and nurturing as harvesting vegetables in a garden. Begin planting your seeds by artfully attending an open house.

Why Attend?

Attending Open House provides you with the opportunity to engage with other students, faculty and staff. Just as in business networking, there’s an art to making an open house hugely worth your while. Don’t treat it as just something to get out of the way quickly. Instead, learn about and use the opportunities built into an open house that can advance your education.

The Art of a Great Start

Having confidence in the value of your education and your ability to learn is a key motivator in how far you can take your education and your future career. Developing relationships within your educational community is one of the best foundations you can build for academic support. To masterfully become part of your educational community, view everyone you meet at an open house as a resource for your future. In addition to the people, you’ll learn about other resources the university has to offer.

You’ll learn about CTU’s online departments like student advising, financial aid and the Virtual Campus. You’ll become acclimated to the technology available on the campus and find resources available online through CTU. Be prepared to take notes – they’ll serve you well later if you forget something.

Open houses include both live and recorded presentations and activities that will engage you. The lab’s discussion boards provide you with information to prepare you for success in your online classes at CTU.  Lab files like ‘Getting Started on Your First Assignment’ and the daily ‘Open House Success Tips’ provide guidelines to help you as you begin your classes. Don’t forget to read through announcements and participate in lab discussions – many a student has found informational jewels through them.

If you’ve got questions about how it all works – the university, online courses and more – chances are they’ve been asked before and you’ll find the answers at the open house lab. Like learning how to grow plants, there’s a lot of good information to sift through, and you don’t want to miss out on opportunities that may advance your academic growth. You’ll find more than what you were looking for – all because you artfully attended an open house.

Lori Danley, M.A., is the Learning Services Coordinator at Colorado Technical University. She holds a Master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University and previously taught college courses in English. She believes that classroom instruction combined with personalized learning support, like tutoring and feedback, improves student success. Learn more about Lori on LinkedIn.

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Image credit: Flickr/.scarlet