How an Online Student Efficiently Earned College Credits and Improved Her Health

How an Online Student Efficiently Earned College Credits and Improved Her Health

4 minute read


Why does this StraighterLine student look so triumphant? Well, this is Marsha Santos, moments after completing the 5K race requirement for our Personal Fitness (PE101) course! We were so excited about Marsha’s accomplishment that we decided to ask her a few questions about her experience at StraighterLine – and in the course.

Marsha Santos’ Online Student Success Story: With children in the house and a health issue that affected how long she could read at one time, Marsha Santos found a way to commit to getting fit – and flexibly earn the college credits she needed for her degree program.

Looking for an Efficient Way to Earn College Credit

StraighterLine was recommended to Marsha by partner college, Western Governor’s University (WGU).  “I had 4 courses that I needed to take and Straighterline was the most efficient and the quickest way to get the courses behind me,” she said. A Student Advisor helped her create a degree plan – so she knew exactly which courses at StraighterLine would transfer to her degree program at WGU. She enrolled in, and ultimately transferred, 4 StraighterLine courses:  American Government, Western Civilization II, Business Statistics – and Personal Fitness.

Completing Personal Fitness Online to Earn College Credit – and Get Fit

One of the StraighterLine courses Marsha was eager to enroll in was Personal Fitness (PE 101). The course is an introductory level class designed to give students the tools to take control of their health and fitness. It does this through a series of labs that students complete on their own, assignments to showcase how to count calories and calculate Body Mass Index, and online assessments based on the course text. As the final assignment in the course all students complete a 5k event. Students have run in timed road races or even at their local track. For Marsha, some of her favorite parts of the course were “mapping out a strategy for healthy living” and devising a plan to get on track with her own exercise program. Marsha also says that the course has given her “many things to think about” when it comes to maintaining a personal fitness regimen. But a PE course is about more than just physical exercise; she also learned important elements from the textbook. In fact, Marsha points out that the readings were more challenging than she anticipated. For students thinking about taking PE online, Marsha offers this advice: “Pay careful attention to your readings. Go back over things you have read before taking exams.”

Taking Advantage of Student Advisors and Live Chat To Get Help 

[Straighterline] classes are meant to make you think, but most of all are intended for you to learn about the subject you are studying,” Marsha says. “There were many nights I was up late trying to read and take a test. I found that anything I needed was easily done by instant chat.” “I was familiar with online schooling, so the process of taking the courses with Straighterline was not new to me,” but she added, ”the Student Advisors [at StraighterLine] were knowledgeable and always went out of their way to try and help me when help was needed.  I was more than thankful that [online chat] was there for me to use.”

Marsha’s Path to Finding College Success Online

“When it came to choosing between an online or an [on-campus] college, for me the choice was obvious,” Marsha explains. “I have children in the house and the idea of going out every night to a class was not appealing to me, nor was it convenient.”  At this point, Martha has completed a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies and two master degrees, one in Criminal Justice and one in Law.  Congratulations Marsha! What’s your inspiration to go back to college? How have online programs allowed you to fit college into your life? 

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