How to Prepare for The First Semester

I would like to commend you for taking the next step towards your educational goal. My name is Adam Strome and I have been taking online courses at Anna Maria for just over three years. I recently obtained my bachelor’s degree and I am now pursuing my master’s degree.

I would like to go over some ways for you to prepare for your first online semester at Anna Maria College. The following topics will also help you succeed towards your educational objectives.

  • System Requirements- Once you have been accepted to Anna Maria you will be given login information for the online platform called Engage. Ensure that you are able to login and navigate successfully on all computers that you may use for your class. If one of the computers you may use does not support the requirements for Engage, then you will not be able to complete your assignments. For example, I use three different computers to complete my work.
  • Ordering Books- Prior to the first class your student services coordinator will email you textbook information. As soon as you receive this information order your textbooks. Depending on where you order your books from it may take a week or more to receive them. You will need your textbook for the first week of class.
  • Email- Ensure that you can log into your Anna Maria email when you are notified that it has been set up. This is very important due to the primary mode of communication is email when taking online courses. I personally set up my Anna Maria email account on my smart phone also.
  • Work Space- Ensure that you create a work place that is dedicated to your school work. Since I work 24 hour shifts I have a work space at home and at work.
  • Weekly Schedule- Devote certain times to complete assignments so you do not get behind on school work. You will get into a rhythm within the first two weeks of class. Initial discussion posts are normally due on Wednesday and assignments are generally due on Sunday.
  • Online Library- Prior to your first class you will receive login information for the online library. Ensure you can login and navigate. The library has numerous sources of information and even some textbooks available for download.
  • Getting Started Folder- At the beginning of every class it is important to open the Getting Started folder. This is a road map for the course if you will. In this folder you will find announcements, course schedule, syllabus, and other important information. You will also be asked to write an introduction. This is a great way to meet your fellow classmates. Your instructor will also post communication expectations in this folder. Knowing how to communicate with your professor is very important in case you have questions or concerns.

About the Author

Photo of Adam Strome

I have been employed as a firefighter in the Town of Danvers for just under 8 years. I completed my bachelors degree and I am now enrolled in the Masters program. I plan to complete my degree this year.