June 23, 2024

New Year, New Goals: How to Stay Accountable in Your Online Course

Why is online education appealing to you? Is it the flexibility in schedule and location? Is it the ability to work at your own pace and study in the ways that work best for your learning style? No matter the reasons that brought you to Columbia Southern University, earning your degree online takes a good amount of personal accountability in order to be successful.

With a little bit of motivation and keeping your eye on the prize (graduation!), exercising your personal accountability muscles will lead you to success in your online education.

If all your courses take place online, what do you have to organize, right? On the contrary, while you may not have notebooks and papers to keep track of, you are responsible for managing your schedule, assignments, due dates and finals.

One way to stay on top of this is by reviewing your syllabus before your course starts. This encourages you to schedule time for everything that needs to be done in order to make the course a success. Reach out early and often to resources that may help you, like the Success Center, and ensure you are confident with everything that is required of you. All of this will help you be a more organized student, which means that nothing will come as a surprise later on.

In a traditional classroom setting, preparation may mean coming to class with plenty of sharpened No. 2 pencils. In the online learning world, preparation means staying ahead of the curve and foreseeing potential roadblocks in order to avoid them.

Ensuring you have your textbooks and syllabi available, double-checking your internet connection and making sure you can log in to your course in the MyCSU student portal are all important areas to cover before a course begins.

Because much of your interactions with people at CSU will be virtual, introducing yourself to those who will be with you along the way can be a great way to get started and break the ice. Becoming familiar with your professors and other CSU staff will make any future correspondences smooth and familiar.

Snafus may happen. Anticipating them and being proactive about finding a solution will ensure your success as an online student. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions when you are unsure about something; your success starts with you.

While exercising personal accountability will make your time as an online student more successful, remember you are never alone throughout your degree program. The CSU faculty and staff are here to support you throughout your entire education journey. If you need help getting back on track for the New Year, email

Disclaimer: These testimonials may not reflect the experience of all CSU students.
Multiple factors, including prior experience, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes.
CSU does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, eligibility for a position, or other career growth.