Taking online courses during a PCS, thoughts/advice?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by conceredcitizen, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. conceredcitizen

    conceredcitizen Member

    Sep 15, 2014
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    Hello all, just wanted to post a quick question for my spouse. She is planning on taking some online college courses next semester and we are set to PCS in February.

    I was just wondering if you all had any thoughts or advice about her doing this? We have never PCSed before so this is all new for us. I know only she knows what she can handle at the end of the day, and it will really depend on the courses, but any thoughts would be helpful. If it is something I should completely turn her away from I should start trying now! lol.

    Thank you all so much.
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

    Jul 13, 2011
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    Honestly it depends if she thinks she can handle it all. If she is taking multiple classes maybe cut back to 1 or 2. Or maybe take a class that might be her strength and therefore maybe a little easier. PCSing is stressful, but it really depends on how you all handle stress. Maybe she starts with the classes and sees the commitment and evaluate when the drop period is. Maybe she decides to drop a class at the deadline depending on the load. Maybe boxes don't get unpacked as quickly or the house setup quickly (remember they will unpack for you if you want), is that okay because she is focused on her studies?
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

    Dec 13, 2010
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    A PCS move doesn't have to be stressful. As NavyHoops states: "its all about how you handle it." Online classes are often taken by people with full time jobs and other conflicts. The advantage is you can access the material 24 hours a day. To me, the biggest stress might be finding a way to get on line if you are in transit. It takes some effort to find a McDonalds or Starbucks or somewhere with wifi when you are on the move. You may want to consider a hot spot contract where she could even work while you were driving. Regarding course selection - some are "self-paced" others are very regimented with time bound assignments. Consider which would work best in your situation. Best of luck!
  4. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    My only hesitation would be finances. When you PCS it can take a lot of money that you outlay right off the bat, especially if there is no on base/post housing for you. The costs just to get there (gas, tolls and hotels) will be on your dime until you get there. Than if you have to live off base you have not only the rental deposit, but also the utilities. Plus, that 1st shopping trip to the commissary is usually not cheap.

    I am not sure if you are already AD, but if this is your true 1st PCS, where you will now be getting paid for the 1st time it can take a few weeks for all of the pay to get settled out (base pay, dislocation allowance ant travel allowance) Our DS reported on the 30th of the month. He did not get his base pay until the 15th. I think it took about another 2 to 3 weeks to get all of his outlay to move to his 1st base back in his checking account.

    I would also say that if she does this path, she might want to do some investigating at what colleges are going to be at your base/post. I only suggest that because for her she can not only do classes online, but attend classes on base. It will give her a chance to also make some friends quickly.

    I finished my last semester for my Master degree when we PCSd from AK to NC with 3 kids under 8. It was tricky because online courses typically require you to submit papers or attend a pre-determined conversation weekly and that may be hard from a logistical perspective when you are driving for several days. However, if she tells the profs way in advance than they typically will work with them. This goes back to why she might want to go through colleges that offer on base/post because they are accustomed to working with the military.
    ~ My profs allowed me to submit my papers 2 weeks early so I didn't have to deal with it while moving. However, that did make it a little more stressful because I had to double down for a few weeks to get this done while also dealing with the movers in my house.

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