April 9, 2013
For individuals trying to balance family responsibilities with school, anything that saves a few minutes is helpful. Grants for single parents help mothers save money as they hit the higher education scene. However, monetary assistance in the form of college scholarships doesn't necessarily provide extra time. Fortunately, many college programs can help save time in a variety of ways, from alternative class offerings to on-campus amenities.
Saving time through distance learning
Ultimate convenience may lie in distance education. This involves mainly online courses, allowing mothers to spend less time getting to school and sitting through classes, and more time with their families.
Luckily, many schools have some degree of online learning. According to the latest Sloan Consortium Survey of Online Learning, over 6.7 million students took one or more online classes in the 2011 fall term. This figure shows the increasing availability and popularity of remote learning.
Convenience on campus
Since some schools don't offer online courses, and some degree programs are more easily completed in-person, it may be best to explore on-campus conveniences. As colleges get larger, they often increase their amenities. For example, Walmart has opened small retail locations on several campuses across the United States.
According to an Inside Higher Ed article, Walmart first put an establishment on a college campus in 2011 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Arizona State University now has one, and Georgia Tech is set to house a campus version of the store next year.
On the campuses, these Walmarts aim to cater to students, according to a statement from the retailer.
"With a full-service pharmacy, basic grocery, financial services and Site-to-Store, Arizona State will be able to enjoy many of the great services they would, at our larger formats without leaving campus," said store manager Mario Espino.
Mothers peeling out of class won't have to go far to tackle grocery lists or pharmacy orders, which can save hours for those with lengthy commutes.
For students and moms who prefer to avoid retail superstores, many campuses offer smaller convenience stores as well. According to the National Association of College Stores, a new initiative dubbed indiCO was formed to develop the independent campus stores by implementing retail and merchandising strategies. Although the selection at these stores is typically smaller than large chains such as Walmart, they can be a time-saver for students who need to grab a few essentials on their way home from class.
Whether choosing distance or on-campus courses, individuals looking to save time will find that many colleges have conveniences in place that cater to busy schedules.