Flexible Learning Solutions for Graduate and Older Students

by Stephanie Thurrott

If you’re a graduate or older student returning to school, you probably need more flexible learning options. After all, you may be juggling a day job, family responsibilities, and dozens of other obligations along with your academic course load.

With an adjustable blend of online, hybrid, and in-person education, Azusa Pacific University provides the flexibility you need. Depending on your program, one or more of these formats may best meet your needs. Here are your options.

In-Person Classes

In-person classes most closely mimic your grade and high school experiences, with a group of students and a teacher that meet in a physical classroom at a scheduled time.

APU still offers flexibility with this option, as in-person classes are held across its seven Southern California campus locations in Azusa, Orange County, San Diego, Inland Empire, High Desert, Monrovia, and Murrieta. That can save significant time on commuting, as class is never far away.

In-person classes also come with hands-on learning opportunities. Plus, working face-to-face with fellow classmates can add a lot of fun, motivation, inspiration, and camaraderie, not to mention greater potential networking for your post-graduate career.

Evening Classes

If you’re a working professional or have children, you may not have time to attend classes during the day. With this in mind, APU offers evening classes to fit these schedules and responsibilities. Plus, later in the day may be the best time for you to clear your mind of them and focus on your studies. Night owls may also thrive in evening classes.

Depending on the program you choose and the courses offered, you may be able to to attend longer classes less frequently. On the other hand, you might have shorter classes that meet more often. So be sure to check the options available in your program.

Distance-Learning Classes

With distance learning courses, an APU instructor and some students meet in an in-person class while other students attend from off-site locations using video, audio, and text, creating an in-class hybrid experience.

If you attend a distance-learning class in person, the experience is similar to in-person classes, except some of your classmates are remote. This class style may be a good option if you prefer in-person classes but can’t commute to a campus location regularly.

Online Classes

Remote learning became mainstream during the pandemic. As the benefits of remote learning become ever clearer, APU is integrating it further into its education system. In fact, you can complete some APU programs 100 percent online. All it takes is a computer and an internet connection.

APU understands that everyone has different needs and learning styles. So, you can take either synchronous or asynchronous online classes.

Synchronous Classes

You’ll be in an online space similar to Zoom at the same time as your professor and classmates. You and the other students will be able to ask each other and the professor questions in real time and discuss the answers. You may participate in group work, too. Synchronous classes may be a good choice if you want to blend the structure of an in-person class with the flexibility of attending remotely.

Asynchronous Classes

You don’t have to attend class online at any specific time. Your professor will post learning activities and assignments in an online learning platform, and you can complete them when it’s convenient for you. You might also participate in asynchronous discussion forums, blogs, multimedia presentations, videoconferencing, email, and group projects. Asynchronous classes may be the best choice if you need flexibility in your study time because you can do your coursework for these classes whenever is easiest for you.

Hybrid Classes

Hybrid—or blended classes—combine in-person and online coursework. Generally, one-third to one-half of the instruction is provided online, either synchronously or asynchronously, and the rest is in-person. Hybrid classes can offer the best of both worlds. You get the face-to-face contact with your professor and your peers that comes with in-person classes. Plus, you get the convenience of doing much of your coursework from wherever you choose. These classes may work best if you prefer in-person education but don’t have room in your schedule for it all the time.

Ready to Learn More?

Whether you’re an older student returning to school to complete your undergraduate degree or you’re looking for a graduate or professional program, look to APU for flexible learning options designed to fit your unique demands.