"I wish I had known about taking some of my pre-requisite courses online the summer before I started college, so I didn't have to worry about completing my program on time."
Hailey T., 21, Afton, New York
Knowing the requirements for the program you are going to enter is important as soon as you enroll at that college. Some programs have a specific timeline that is necessary for completion within the two or four years (depending on the length of the program). A huge example is a Nursing or and Education program; you have certain courses you need to take before you can start your clinical rotations or student teaching. If you have yet to complete the pre-requisites for the courses that you need, then you will take more time to complete your degree because of that.
Once you are enrolled as a student, reach out to your program director or your Academic Adviser to discuss the timeline for your program with them. If you don't have a specific course that is needed to start the first sequence, then ask them what they suggest you do. They will know your options, ie: courses at that university or from another college that can be transferred in and count as that pre-requisite. Online courses are becoming increasingly popular, so the opportunities to find a course you need to take quickly can be more feasible. You will, though, want to check with your university's Registrar to make sure those credits and that class will transfer into the university.
You have to take an active role in your academic experience. Talk to your Academic Adviser, other professors, the Dean of Academic Affairs, whatever it takes to make your education a success. Find options and do not just settle for one answer; it may be the only option, but you'll never know until you look down other avenues.
enjoy the chase,