Exercise Science Student Spotlight: Allison Grilley

Posted September 26, 2014 | By csponline

If you are considering earning an exercise science degree, you may be wondering how such a hands-on degree works in an online format. But with Concordia University St. Paul’s undergraduate and graduate programs in exercise science, you can be on your way to a health and fitness career by earning a flexible, affordable degree on your own schedule. To help explain the benefits of our online program, we spoke with student Allison Grilley. As a student in the online undergraduate exercise science program, she is currently a personal trainer but plans to continue her education and become a physical therapist. Grilley has a lot to say about why Concordia was a great choice for her and her exercise science career.

Why CSP?

Credibility and accreditation were both important for Grilley when she was choosing an online university. “I did my research before choosing CSP and I came to find that this university is ranked quite high in terms of credibility and the online degrees especially are looked upon with respect. This was important to me, seeing as I’m using my degree to pursue a professional career. I wanted to make sure it was widely accepted,” she says. Once she got started with us, she found that learning in an online format is much easier than she anticipated: “I am pleasantly surprised with how interactive the courses are. I was expecting something similar to my previous online college experience, but at CSP it’s almost like you’re in a real classroom setting, conversing with instructors and students.”

Another great feature for Grilley was the personal, individualized help she received during the enrollment process and beyond. “I was very fortunate to have an incredible Enrollment Counselor who helped me through my weeks leading up to class answering any and all questions. When she turned me over to my Academic Advisor, I was also introduced to an uplifting and encouraging person who is always looking out for me and offering assistance whenever I need it,” she says.

What It’s Like to Learn Online

As someone who lives far from campus, the convenience of learning online was another major benefit for Grilley. “The online web chats every week are only an hour long, in comparison to attending an on-ground course where you could find yourself sitting in a classroom for three hours. Making time for my courses every week has been simple for me to work into my schedule,” she says. However, she points out how important it is to communicate with instructors: “It can be challenging when the course material gets confusing, if you’re just trying to read the book and teach yourself without an instructor breaking it down for you. Bringing up my concerns during chats has always been helpful, or sending a quick email to my instructor with my questions. [This] also results in a better understanding,“ Grilley explains.

When it comes to interacting with peers and instructors, she sticks with email and chats. “Email is the most efficient and quickest way to get ahold of my instructor when I have any concerns or just general questions about the course. During the WebEx chats, communicating with my peers in breakout groups is the best way to get multiple opinions and discuss the content in further detail,” she says.

Time management is key for Grilley, and it’s a study strategy she wants to pass on to other online students at Concordia. “Taking the course in moderation and not leaving yourself with three assignments to complete the night [they are] due is definitely a good start to avoid work overload and stress. Breaking up the syllabus and knowing ahead of time what’s due and when has helped me avoid procrastination,” she says.

Exercise Science Education for Your Life

No matter what your health and fitness career goals are, earning your exercise science degree with us is a great place to start. “I would most definitely recommend CSP Online for self-motivated students who are also looking for a more flexible school schedule to fit into their busy lives,” Grilley says. Learn more about our online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs today and get the education you need to succeed. And, if you’re like Grilley and want to pursue a career in physical therapy, CSP offers a Doctor of Physical Therapy program to prepare you for your future career.