FAQ: Earning a Degree Online

Michael LondriganLIM College offers flexible options for students to earn their college degree online, allowing them to learn at their own pace, on their own terms, wherever they're located. Here, Professor Michael Londrigan—a 30-year veteran of the apparel industry—answers frequently asked questions about the online learning experience at LIM, including how classes are set up and what tech equipment you need.

Who are LIM's online bachelor's and associate degree programs intended for?
Just like the degree programs we have on campus, our online programs are for anyone interested in earning a business degree that focuses on fashion. Online options may be a good fit for the 18-25-year-old who’s interested in a career in fashion and wants a four-year degree, but maybe can’t afford to move to NYC at this time. It’s also a fit for people whose lives are so full and busy with work and/or family, they need flexibility.

What’s the difference between a bachelor’s degree and an associate degree?
Typically, a bachelor’s is 121 credits and can be completed in four years or less.  An associate degree is 60-61 credits, completed in two years or less. Most employers in the fashion industry require employees to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, though there are many exceptions to that rule.

What sort of schedule or "class hours" will an online student have?
The beauty of LIM’s online degrees is their flexibility. Courses are asynchronous, meaning there are no scheduled class times—you complete the work at your own pace, within timeframes set up by the professor. Typically, a student will spend 4-6 hours per week on each course they’re enrolled in—this will vary from week to week, depending on when there are projects or papers due.

laptop - online graduationWhat equipment or material will an online student need?
A good desktop/laptop computer, either with a built-in webcam and speaker/mic or a webcam and speaker/mic they can add. There may be times a professor or academic advisor will want to connect via Zoom or some other platform. A reliable Internet connection is also a must.

What can students do if they need technical help?
Students can get tech help 24/7 from the company that supplies our learning management system. Online students can also contact our LIM’s on-campus IT department.

How do online students receive and submit their assignments?
Students log into the LIM site and/or directly to our learning management system—assignments are uploaded using this platform. Once they open their course or “shell,” as it’s called, all the info is there. The College holds a mandatory new student Orientation that walks students through all the steps, and there are many tutorials available within the courses themselves.

How do students complete group projects and participate in group discussions?
Group work and group discussions are facilitated by the professor. Students join web chats and interact through online discussion boards. Many also form groups using other social media platforms.

What kind of access do online students have to their professors?
The main interaction is through comments and feedback within the course itself. Professors are easily reachable by email, and many hold virtual office hours for students. Office hours are set times during the week when professors make themselves available to talk to students. If a student emails their professor, they can also arrange a virtual meeting.

What advice do you have for students considering the online route at LIM?
LIM gives you tools and advice—but you, the student, need to be committed and understand you must have strong time management skills. Work is completed fairly rapidly, given our short format—7½ weeks per course. So, if you’re uncertain, start with one course and build from there.

Students who do well are those who are disciplined and understand that this is involved, complex material. Earning a degree online (or on campus) is an important investment that pays many dividends down the road, so take the time to make the right decision, plan ahead, and, most of all, enjoy the experience.