If you’re returning to school after a long time away or enrolling for the first time, you’ve probably grown accustomed to doing things independently. With SNU’s innovative cohort model, though, you get support to realize your full potential while building a meaningful professional network and nurturing relationships with peers who understand the challenges and triumph of college.
For more than two decades, researchers have demonstrated that the cohort model of learning gets exceptional results for everyone involved. SNU’s model of learning in community has garnered significant positive feedback, and our students tell us that their cohorts make a meaningful difference in their college experience.
Here are six reasons you’ll enjoy your cohort now and continue to reap its myriad benefits well after graduation.
1. Networking Opportunities from Day One
A strong professional network is more than just LinkedIn connections or a long list of acquaintances. The most valuable networks help you build relationships with people you trust, who also trust you. That’s because people who know and understand you are better equipped to give you strong job referrals and to pull you up with them as they climb the corporate ladder.
Networking is not something that happens overnight. It’s about investing in relationships of mutuality that afford you the chance to display your skills while supporting others. Your cohort begins building a solid network well before gradation. And that network isn’t limited to peers in your group, either. Your professors are part of your cohort as well, and the small class size makes it easier to get to know them. This makes it easier to ask for recommendations or even to one day seek out a job referral.
2. Personalized Learning
At most schools, students must get used to a new group of peers in every class each semester. This can be a quiet stressor and source of anxiety, especially for people who love routine or struggle with social anxiety.
SNU offers something radically different. Cohort learning environments mean that students progress through their entire educational program together. You’ll have the same professors, take the same classes and complete the same assignments.
This cohort model yields a much more personalized approach and encourages collaborative learning. You can share and compare notes and course materials, confident that you each need to know the same material. If you miss class, your peers are there to help. And the long-term relationships you build with your professors make it easier for them to structure learning programs according to your needs. Additionally, because you already know everyone in your classes, there’s never an adjustment period, which can help reduce anxiety.
3. Motivation from a Personal Cheering Squad
The cohort model helps foster a sense of community and belonging among students. You’ll never feel like the odd person out because each member of your cohort is invested in you as a learner and a person. Because they get to know you — your struggles, your triumphs and everything in between — they’re also far better equipped to coach you when you need it.
Our friendships make life worth living and can help us weather life’s challenges. A cohort is a group of friends committed to a similar goal. It offers a personal cheering squad filled with people working together toward success.
Because you’ll complete small classes with instructors who get to know you, your professors can also become a significant source of support. On an individual level, it becomes easier to reach out to a professor if you’re struggling. If the whole cohort has a challenge or does not resonate with an instructor’s style, they can work together to advocate for their shared academic needs.
4. Opportunities to Practice Workplace Skills
Think the biggest predictor of career success is raw intelligence or hard work? Think again. Your degree is a necessary prerequisite to the job you want; it can unlock previously impenetrable doors. You can supercharge the power of your degree with strong emotional intelligence.
In fact, research shows that the ability to understand, empathize with and relate to other people is the single most important predictor of success. In one 40-year study, researchers found that emotional intelligence was four times as powerful as IQ at predicting success, with 90% of top career performers having high emotional intelligence.
What does this have to do with your cohort-based programs? Plenty. Your cohort provides you with low-stress opportunities to practice emotional intelligence. You’ll master professional communication, problem-solving and collaboration. Better still, your cohort includes people whom you might not otherwise befriend and who may have vastly different experiences from your own. This makes it easier to practice empathy and to learn how to relate to the diverse range of people you’ll encounter in the workplace.
5. Stronger Academic Performance
On virtually every measure of academic performance, cohort-based learning models outperform traditional learning models. Learning in a community can help you stay motivated. It makes learning fun and meaningful, and it encourages accountability that can keep you on track and living up to your potential.
Research shows higher grades, faster completion rates, greater motivation and more engagement at school among students who learn in a cohort setting. The encouragement and support of peers with similar aspirations for the future is invaluable to your academic progress at every stage.
6. Faster Graduation and Improved Retention
Higher education is an investment. Like all investments, you want it to pay off. Students who don’t graduate, or who don’t graduate on time, lose more money and don’t reap the full rewards of a degree.
SNU’s cohort model expedites the path from here to graduation. Cohort models improve graduation and retention rates. Not only does this support you to achieve your goals; it also boosts the overall performance of your school’s graduates, which makes your degree look better on a resume.
Choosing the Right School
At SNU, we believe every student has the right to thrive and that all learners bring something unique to our community. That’s why we offer versatile degree tracks tailored to your needs and lifestyle. Our cohort model works equally well for students learning online and in-person, and students consistently report high satisfaction and engagement.
Which model is right for you, and how can you choose a school that fully meets your needs? Learn more about what to expect from an online degree program with our free, comprehensive guide.