Which College Course Should You Take First?

Which College Course Should You Take First?
Beth Dumbauld

English? Math? Biology? History? Accounting? With so many affordable online courses to choose from, you may have found yourself wondering which course you should take first at StraighterLine.

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including  your strengths as a student and which college you plan on attending.

Your Academic Strengths

Consider your strengths from an academic perspective. For instance, is writing usually your strongest subject? Or perhaps you consider yourself a “math person.” When you are first starting out as a college student, the best approach is to start strong, which means taking a course that you are likely to do well in. When students struggle with courses early in their college careers, they are far less likely to finish their degrees.

Writing and Communication Courses

English Composition I

Newly redesigned – see what the buzz is all about! Provides an easy to follow and immersive approach to various writing genres. Students write a selection of essays including a research paper. Feedback on writing is provided by course evaluators prior to assignment submissions.


English Composition II

Picks up where English Comp I leaves off. Students will focus on writing analysis, presenting arguments, research, and documentation through a selection of readings. Feedback on writing is provided by course evaluators prior to assignment submissions.


Introduction to Communication

Learn tools to both improve and analyze the effectiveness of your own and other people’s communications -- through written, verbal, and non verbal communication.



Introduction to Business Communication

Dive into a practical business course that will show you the right way to write memos, letters and reports.



Math Courses

College Algebra

Get a working knowledge of college-level algebra and its applications. Learn about linear and quadratic equations, word problems, polynomials, and rational and radical equations. A common requirement for nearly all bachelor degrees, many students appreciated the free tutoring included with this course.



Get a thorough understanding of common concepts covered in college-level math and prepare  for success in General Calculus I.



Introduction to Statistics

Gain an ability to navigate the applications of statistical knowledge. An ideal course for those who plan on studying business, science, or the social sciences.


Student Success and Developmental Courses

If you need to learn some strategies for time management, reading comprehension, effective note-taking, and many other valuable skills, consider starting with our Student Success course. You’ll learn how to improve your study habits so you can make the most of your college career.

If you feel that you need an academic refresher, consider taking a basic writing or math course first, such as Developmental Writing or Introductory Algebra. Developing good writing habits and building your confidence in math from the get go will provide a strong foundation and will lead to success in many other courses.

Earning Credit at Your School

StraighterLine courses are guaranteed to transfer at our partner colleges and universities based on our our course equivalency guides. StraighterLine courses have all also been accepted for credit at over 2,000 colleges and universities using ACE Credit.

The bottom line is that you will be much more likely to succeed in pursuit of your degree if you start off on the right foot, so keep these tips in mind as you plan for your future at StraighterLine and beyond.

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