Q&A: Do online programs have tutoring assistance?

Answer: This is a great question. Many people believe that online schooling means you are on your own. However, this is a myth. Online educational institutions want their students to succeed. Most, if not all, online high schools and post-secondary programs have additional resources to assist students who are having difficulty in a subject area.

As a student, if you are having difficulty understanding an entire subject or a concept, your first point of contact should always be your teacher. Whether by phone or email -- whichever way you are most comfortable and that's acceptable by your teacher -- contacting your teacher is imperative for many reasons.

The most important reason is that your teacher may be able to give you the assistance you need. Often, teachers can explain things, verbally, making the concept easier to understand than it might be in written format. Your teacher can also give you examples or direct you to additional resources. Either form of communication, or both, may be a tremendous help.

Another reason to contact your teacher is because it lets him or her know that you are taking the class, and your academics, seriously. Teachers are more likely to work with a student on incorrect answers and late assignments, if they know the student is making an effort to understand. ALL teachers want to see students succeed, especially students who are putting forth the effort to do so.

Lastly, if the teacher is unable to assist you, they can point you in the right direction. Many online schools have tutoring programs or labs to assist students. Assistance is usually available in the following subjects: math, writing, science and foreign language. The writing labs are generally available for all courses. Also, assistance may differ between high school and secondary online schools.

If the school doesn't offer tutoring directly, sometimes the administration will contract with outside services or websites. You can also do online searches for tutoring and the subject. For example "psychology tutorials for high school" or "math tutorials for algebra." However, if you access any assistance outside of the school, you are responsible for any costs. Therefore, always contact your teacher first, who will hopefully be able to give you the assistance you need.

Dr. Beverley BrowningDr. Beverly A. Browning has been consulting in the areas of grant writing, contract bid responses, and organizational development for nearly four decades. Her clients have included chambers of commerce, faith-based organizations, units of local and county municipal governments, state and federal government agencies, school districts and colleges, social and human service agencies, hospitals, fire departments, service associations, and Fortune 500 corporations. Dr. Browning has assisted clients and workshop participants throughout the United States in receiving awards of more than $250 million. Dr. Browning is the author of over 37 grants-related publications, including Grant Writing For Dummies™, Grant Writing for Educators, How to Become a Grant Writing Consultant, Faith-Based Grants: Aligning Your Church to Receive Abundance, and Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals. She holds degrees in Organizational Development, Public Administration, and Business Administration. Dr. Browning is a grant writing course developer and online facilitator for Ed2Go.com; former faculty member at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management and a current member of the American Association of Grant Professionals. She is CEO of Bev Browning & Associates (BBA, Inc.); Founder and Director of the Grant Writing Training, and most recently, the new Vice President for Grants Professional Services at eCivis Inc. (www.ecivis.com)