StraighterLine Success Story: John Walsh

Barry Lenson

John Walsh, 2009 Bachelor’s in Business Graduate, Praises StraighterLine for Making His Degree Possible

John Walsh, an independent investor who lives in upstate New York, was an academic achiever long before he earned college credits at StraighterLine, transferred them to the college he was attending, and earned a degree in 2009.

“I had already earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree,” John explains, “and I am certified to teach in NY State in five subject areas. I had accumulated a large number of business credits, but had not completed a degree in the field, although I was certified to teach business. Therefore, I decided to complete a second bachelor’s degree in business.”

“It was during that time that I found StraighterLine. Toward the end of my program, I had to complete a course called College Algebra. I had a high GPA and had completed almost all of the program requirements, but had difficulty completing the math course, as I have difficulty with advanced Math, as often is the case with liberal arts graduates. I needed to pass College Algebra in order to get my second business degree, but since I had never been a good math student, I was really at a standstill. Over the course of about four years, I had taken College Algebra classes at two colleges and took the CLEP exams at least four times to try to complete the requirement. That’s when I discovered StraighterLine on the Internet.”

John points out that StraighterLIne’s Online College Algebra course was no less difficult than what he had been studying, and that the course material was the same. But he succeeded at StraighterLine because the lessons were straightforward and the practice problems reflected what was being taught.

“I found that I could follow the steps while doing the problems very well,” John explains. “And as a result, I was able to receive passing grades on the quizzes at the end of each lesson.”

How was StraighterLine’s online college course different from the others that John had taken?

“Those like me who aren’t great at math have a difficult time making what I call a ‘leap of knowledge,’” John explains. “In math courses, I find that professors often teach a concept but then add to or change the concept when it comes time for the test. Most students, unless they are fairly adept at math, cannot apply the variations to problems asked on tests or arrive at the right answer. At StraighterLine, the teacher did not play games like that, but rather taught the concept and later asked students to demonstrate their knowledge of it on the test, without altering the problems. It was a matter of learning the material and being able to do the problem, as math should be taught.

“For example, in a typical Math course, a student might learn, say, 3 + 5= 8. But then on the test, a professor would ask, `What is the square root of 9 + 5?’ Later when correcting the test, the professor would say, `Well, you can infer the square root and then the problem is easy!’ But nothing in the study material ever mentioned square roots. The teacher would then say, `Well you should be able to figure that out from your knowledge of math.’ Those are the games that math teachers play with students, and they make it very difficult for students all over the country to learn. The StraighterLine course did not do that, and there were no surprises. As a result, I was able to pass the course in about six weeks - after trying for four years. Thank you, StraighterLine!

Today, John is a champion of StraighterLine.

“When I meet students, I encourage them to consider using the program for college courses they need toward their degree requirements and to save money on tuition,” John says. “Some of them, I find, are in colleges that are charging them $2,500 or more to earn three college credits. When I tell them that I earned the same three credits for about $25 per credit, they are suspicious. They say, `I’ll just keep doing what I am doing.’ It all sounds too good to be true. For this reason and for my gratitude to StraighterLine, I am personally reaching out to students and parents of college students to make them aware of the StraighterLine program so that they can save thousands of dollars and attain the college credits they need to graduate.  StraighterLine is providing an invaluable service, especially with the high cost of college. It is not necessary today to spend thousands of dollars on a single course.”

John is hoping to answer questions and further direct students and parents to the StraighterLine program and will soon be available to hold discussion groups about the program at colleges, community centers, religious organizations and fraternal societies.

We’ll be sharing information on this blog about John’s activities in support of support of StraighterLine. Stay tuned.

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