Self-proclaimed procrastinator discovers accountability with AlamoONLINE

August 13, 2021

Sadie Rodriguez graduated high school, worked as a barista at Starbucks for a while, and then decided it was time to go to college. She described her journey to Palo Alto College as “a pretty easy [one]”, from applying to college and for financial aid to registering for her classes. What has been Sadie’s secret to her successful journey?

As a first-generation and first-time college student, Sadie relied on her high school counselors and teachers to guide her. They informed her that community college was more affordable and an ideal next step as she started on her career path. As a  community college student, she could take courses one at a time and find a career that fueled her passion, all while avoiding student loans.

Although she entered Palo Alto College well informed about the benefits of college, Sadie plans to use her college experience to discover more about herself.

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“[Alamo Colleges] is more affordable. I’m afraid of student loans. I wasn’t one to be super ambitious about getting student loans. Also, I was unsure about my career path at that point. I figured I could get my basics done at [Palo Alto College], and if I needed to transfer to a university to get my degree in my career, then I could do it at a later time.”

Once enrolled, Sadie discovered how much she enjoyed online learning. She had anticipated the flexibility, based on the advice from her high school teachers and counselors, and looked forward to that part. 

“I’ve been working my entire college career, so it’s always just been difficult having to schedule work around school. I would always have to be on campus, so learning online gave me that flexibility.” 

Moreover, Sadie soon realized that online learning was a perfect match for her in many other ways, beyond the flexibility.

“It’s not what I expected at all. I am a huge procrastinator. I feel like the professors are thorough with communicating with the students. They don’t let you fall behind. Although it is self-paced, there are deadlines. There is a lot of communication there, and I appreciate that.”

Although she needed the flexibility to complete her coursework around her work schedule, Sadie knew herself well; anticipating that procrastination could be an obstacle, she found instructors who inspired a balance of self-paced learning and accountability in her online courses. They granted students the freedom to learn at their own pace while reminding them of due dates and assignment requirements. 

Additionally, faculty teaching online courses valued good communication and relied on emails and virtual feedback to support students’ success. The support she found in her online learning experience at Palo Alto College empowers Sadie to find and follow her path.

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