In fact, he attended UF on campus his first year, but then his summer internship doing investigative work turned into a full-time job. He traveled the nation and earned more than his degree. He earned valuable professional experience alongside an invaluable credential. This is his Gator tale. What’s yours?
- Why UF Online?
- One of the nice things is that UF is a very well-known school. Other online programs sometimes seem a little sketchy. If you go through UF, you know you have a legit curriculum behind the courses you’re taking.
- How did you know that online learning was right for you?
- I was attending UF on campus my first year. Then I switched to online when my summer internship with an attorney (doing investigative work) turned into a full-time job that required 32-50 hours of work per week. Thanks to UF Online, I was able to keep my full-time job and travel with the attorney all across the nation.
- What is one thing someone might be surprised to learn about the experience?
- Just the way UF Online is set up. There’s an actual classroom and the teacher is lecturing to the on-campus class. It’s super up to date, because it was recorded that day. It’s not like the lecture is a couple of years old. It doesn’t even seem like it’s really online. It just seems like it’s a real lecture…because it is.
- How do you balance work and school?
- Basically, I just set up a good study space and a schedule where I say, “On this date, I’m going to work on this project.” You can literally plan your whole semester on the first day of class. I prefer to study and watch lectures at Starbucks, University of West Florida library and my home office. I utilize the Canvas app to take quizzes for class while traveling with my job.
- What advice do you have for future Gators considering UF Online?
- I learned to look ahead and see what I had questions about. Then I would email the teachers like a week before I needed to know the answer, so then it’s no worries whatsoever.
- What makes the UF Criminal Justice program great?
- I’ve seen how coursework applies in the real world. I’ve really enjoyed the elective courses. My favorite class is Business Law with professor Robert Emerson. One of the greatest things is being able to travel and actually gain work experience while finishing my degree.
- Do you feel connected to the Gator Nation?
- I am very involved in the UF community. Multiple teachers know me by name, probably better than they know their in-person students. I’m a teacher’s assistant for two of UF’s online courses. I’m doing research for one of the professors on campus, and I am writing a senior thesis. I’m doing extracurricular stuff through UF, but it’s all from afar.
- What does the future hold?
- I plan on continuing my education through UF Online for my master’s degree. I’m already working on credits that can apply to it.
Luke’s story is a great example of how UF Online can help you work toward your educational goals without disrupting your professional life. There are so many students just like him enrolled with us. Consider being part of the Gator Nation by applying to UF Online. Come join Luke. Be Greater. Be a Gator.