jtom

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I had a few questions regarding online courses. I needed to take micro, biochem, animal science and animal nutrition.

With online classes, can you take them anytime of the year? Meaning you are not constrained by the typical fall/spring/summer semesters? Also can you take however long you want to finish the courses?

I was definetly going to take animal science and nutrition online. However, since we dont have to take biochem lab, biochem is now an option to take online as well. Would you recommend taking biochem online? I remember back in orgo that I would ask the professor/ta's alot of questions and highly valued their in-person help. I am not sure how it would look to take biochem online but I would make sure to take one that had orgo as a pre-req.

Obviously I am not going to take microbiology online due to the lab but was wondering if its ok to take microbiology at a community college. Unfortunately micro is not offered in the summer or fall at the schools around here but at the cc's they are offered. I wanted to get micro out of the way this summer and biochem this fall so I can take the online classes next spring (I dont want to bank on biochem/micro being offered in the spring as I wont know that until its too late). I was not sure if that was ok as that would be my only cc class taken.

Lastly, should I take Anatomy and Physiology? I did not have to take it to get my bio degree and it is not stated under the vet schools pre-reqs that I have looked at but one did say it was preferred/recommended.


Thanks!
 
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Jan 31, 2010
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Everything involving timing depends entirely on the school. Some schools let you take your classes all year whenever, others are rigidly structured.

Do not take biochemistry online. I very emphatically recommend against it. The online class format is best for classes that require little visual work and are not particularly challenging, two criteria which biochem definitely doesn't meet. Moreover, I think you'll probably have trouble even finding a good online biochem class - upper level online courses are scarce.

As for micro, it depends. I don't remember if that course is counted as upper-level or not. If it is, I don't think most schools will let you take it at a community college. Someone who remembers - is microbio "upper level"? My school listed it as a 200 course.

Anatomy and physiology are nice, and my friends who took them said that they were kind of helpful, but my friends who did not take them said that they did not feel significantly disadvantaged. The schools typically assume you know nothing and teach from there, so although taking the classes might give you a slight boost, it may not be worth the time investment.

Animal nutrition and animal science are offered as online courses at a lot of schools, and some give you a lot of freedom as to when you complete them. Oklahoma state's animal nutrition class doesn't cost much, isn't much work, and gives you a whole year to finish it at your own pace. I think their animal science course is similar.
 

purplesaurus

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Most schools I looked at required upper-level microbiology (I took a lower level micro course, and my advisor told me I needed to retake it at a higher level).

eta: And here's just some personal opinion. I would recommend taking as many classes in person as possible. I've taken many classes online and by correspondence (as well as getting two bachelor's through in-person coursework), and I greatly prefer traditional in-person classes. I find most online/correspondence courses just don't seem to give you the full experience, and often you don't get the benefit of the professor's ability to really explain a topic, give examples, re-explain in a different way, etc. Often, it's just you and the textbook. And there are a lot of poorly written textbooks out there.

Now, that's not to say every online class is worthless or poorly taught. I am currently taking a class about dog biology and behavior online (it was this or a night class that would not have worked for me), and for an online class, I think it is put together very well. The prof is very available through email and a weekly chat session, and she posts videos of her lectures (including the power point notes that the class gets to see), so you get the benefit of listening to her explain things. She has created some assignments that are geared towards helping us understand topics, and she posts a lot of supporting material, especially videos. In my experience, though, an online class this good had been rare.

Also, I can't remember who told me this, so I'm am not sure how much weight to give it, but I was told that adcoms also tend to look down on online classes because they are not seen as giving the full depth of a traditional class. And honestly, some can be way too easy. What do other people think?
 
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cowgirla

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As for micro, it depends. I don't remember if that course is counted as upper-level or not. If it is, I don't think most schools will let you take it at a community college. Someone who remembers - is microbio "upper level"? My school listed it as a 200 course.
My school listed it as a 500 level, which is basically the same as a 200 level. (Our numbering starts at 400 for the intro classes, since the "associate" school is number 1-300.).

Prereqs for the class were a year of gen bio and gen chem. Didnt think it was considered "upper level," since you can take it sophmore year.
 
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Now, that's not to say every online class is worthless or poorly taught. I am currently taking a class about dog biology and behavior online (it was this or a night class that would not have worked for me), and for an online class, I think it is put together very well. The prof is very available through email and a weekly chat session, and she posts videos of her lectures (including the power point notes that the class gets to see), so you get the benefit of listening to her explain things. She has created some assignments that are geared towards helping us understand topics, and she posts a lot of supporting material, especially videos. In my experience, though, an online class this good had been rare.
I had a great online calculus class through a community college that was like this. She used some kind of cool computer software to video podcast her lectures and she would do online office hours. It was pretty groovy overall.

Also, I can't remember who told me this, so I'm am not sure how much weight to give it, but I was told that adcoms also tend to look down on online classes because they are not seen as giving the full depth of a traditional class. And honestly, some can be way too easy. What do other people think?
Mos def. I especially think that they would look on an upper-level core science course taken online with suspicion.
 

jtom

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I decided I will not take biochem online. I have no choice with the animal science/nutrition as they are not offered near me.

One question about biochem: the only one I can find in my area has a pre-req for a class they you take together with bio I. Its a class where they teach you how to write scientific papers or something. I did not take that class for my bachelors. Do you guys think they will override that for me? I will ask them shortly.

As for micro, this brings up a good point. At my undergrad university micro was a 300 upper level course. However, at many other four year schools it is listed as a 200 level course. At the cc's I have looked at they are 200 level. I guess I am really confused as what to do. I really would prefer to space microbio and biochem in different semesters but am nervous about doing so as I wont know if the other will be offered anywhere near me in the spring until I have already committed. As of right now I cannot find either micro or biochem offered in the summer except at the cc's. Should I just assume that any four year school regardless of number level is higher then any number level at a cc?
 
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One question about biochem: the only one I can find in my area has a pre-req for a class they you take together with bio I. Its a class where they teach you how to write scientific papers or something. I did not take that class for my bachelors. Do you guys think they will override that for me? I will ask them shortly.
All you can do is ask, man. I don't think it would be unreasonable to waive it if you've got a degree already, but schools can be unpredictable.

As for micro, this brings up a good point. At my undergrad university micro was a 300 upper level course. However, at many other four year schools it is listed as a 200 level course. At the cc's I have looked at they are 200 level. I guess I am really confused as what to do. I really would prefer to space microbio and biochem in different semesters but am nervous about doing so as I wont know if the other will be offered anywhere near me in the spring until I have already committed. As of right now I cannot find either micro or biochem offered in the summer except at the cc's. Should I just assume that any four year school regardless of number level is higher then any number level at a cc?
Call your 1st choice schools and ask them if they'd accept a microbio with lab from a cc - it's probably best to be 100% certain rather than assuming something and finding out later that you assumed wrong. Most schools almost certainly won't take a biochem from a cc because that's definitely upper-level –*you'll have to take that at a 4-year.
 

purplesaurus

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One question about biochem: the only one I can find in my area has a pre-req for a class they you take together with bio I. Its a class where they teach you how to write scientific papers or something. I did not take that class for my bachelors. Do you guys think they will override that for me? I will ask them shortly.
You just have to ask. Some schools/profs are very lax about pre-reqs (I had pre-reqs waived for me for an upper-level science simply because I already had a bachelor's), and some are very anal.

Should I just assume that any four year school regardless of number level is higher then any number level at a cc?
I would not assume this. I took a lower-level micro course at a 4-year university, and it was as useless pre-req-wise as a CC course that was also lower level.
 

Pomona2006

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Do not take biochemistry online. I very emphatically recommend against it. The online class format is best for classes that require little visual work and are not particularly challenging, two criteria which biochem definitely doesn't meet. Moreover, I think you'll probably have trouble even finding a good online biochem class - upper level online courses are scarce.
I have to disagree. I would say don't take biochem online if you have access to an upper division biochem class locally, but it's definitely do-able online! I had no choice but to go online for that pre-req (did mine through UC Berkeley) and I found the course to be quite rewarding!

http://extension.berkeley.edu/cat/course748.html

Note: they did not check the pre-reqs and I definitely didn't have them completed.
 

Allthingsequine

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I have to disagree. I would say don't take biochem online if you have access to an upper division biochem class locally, but it's definitely do-able online!
I also took my biochem course online. I did it through Washington State University, over the summer, while working full time and taking two other classes. It was difficult , but completely doable. I'm sure there is some variability in how different schools view online classes, but in my case I knew the vet school at WSU specifically recommends this class for those who can't get to an in-person course for whatever reason. It was very similar to an on-site course, and included daily video lectures with powerpoint, homework assignments, and proctored exams. I got a lot out of the class, even though it made for a stressful summer.
 
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Eh, if those two work, I guess.

I still think a traditional class would be better, but if you have no alternative, now you've got some tested options!
 
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Another possibility for an online biochem course is through the University of Wyoming. (I took it this past summer, and like Allthingsequine's class, it included podcasted lectures, homework, group discussions, and proctored exams. (It even had interactive office hours with a "white board.") I got a lot out of the course--more than some of my friends who took the "traditional" version of the course with another professor. UW's is also upper-level with organic as a pre-requisite.
 

jtom

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I have a stupid question for you guys: Do vet schools look to see how long you took to take a class? So lets say you took an extra month past a regular semester (assuming you take an online course where you can start anytime and take however long as you want), would they think "well he got an A but he had an extra month so its not as noteworthy"?

I guess I will be open to an online course in biochemistry as that would alleviate alot of pressure in terms of scheduling.

Also if anyone else has taken biochem online please post where so I can look at it and whether you can take it anytime during the year etc.

Thanks!
 
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I have a stupid question for you guys: Do vet schools look to see how long you took to take a class? So lets say you took an extra month past a regular semester (assuming you take an online course where you can start anytime and take however long as you want), would they think "well he got an A but he had an extra month so its not as noteworthy"?

I guess I will be open to an online course in biochemistry as that would alleviate alot of pressure in terms of scheduling.

Also if anyone else has taken biochem online please post where so I can look at it and whether you can take it anytime during the year etc.

Thanks!
There really isn't any way to indicate that on the VMCAS, so no, not really.
 

turquoisewolves

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Also if anyone else has taken biochem online please post where so I can look at it and whether you can take it anytime during the year etc.

Thanks!
I was just going to let you know that Kansas State has an online upper division Biochem course with Organic Chem prereq that I really enjoyed. I have been told by two different schools that they recognized that online learning was very much a part of the evolving world of acedemia and that it showed that a person probably has quite a bit of self-discipline and a work ethic being able to learn outside of the traditional classroom. I have done about half of my course work via distance education and my GPA mirrored my traditional setting coursework..and to be frank I really enjoy and probably retain more of my the class when I do it online (especially if they have online lectures that you can watch). I'm just glad that it has been an option.

Good Luck!
 

jtom

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I had another question: For the online classes im assuming you have to apply still as a non-marticulating student? If its an online course, is there any issues with the number of seats available in the class?

Thanks!
 

Allthingsequine

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I had another question: For the online classes im assuming you have to apply still as a non-marticulating student? If its an online course, is there any issues with the number of seats available in the class?

Thanks!
I would think it depends on the school and the class. I never had a problem getting into any of the online classes I took at WSU as a non-degree seeking student, but at a larger university or one with a larger online learning program this may be more of an issue. I would just try to decide on the school you want to take classes from ASAP, and then get registered at the earliest possible date.
 
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I had another question: For the online classes im assuming you have to apply still as a non-marticulating student? If its an online course, is there any issues with the number of seats available in the class?

Thanks!
Summer/online classes usually aren't popular enough for this to be an issue. I've never had trouble.
 

jtom

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I had a question: I think I am going to take intro to animal science and animal nutrition through OK State with their year long non traditional route which does not require you to apply to the university. My question is, will vet schools accept this? I am not sure if they will want a regular semester length course. I know quite a few others have taken it through OK State so im assuming it will transfer.

Also, how do you find a proctor?

Thanks!
 
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Also, how do you find a proctor?
The online course that I took had several requirements for proctors. If you were testing in the same state the course was in (so, in this case, Wyoming), you were encouraged to take exams at an extension testing center.

I was working as an intern at an animal shelter out of state, so I had to find a professional educator to proctor my exams. (Some suggestions the course offered were high school or community college teachers/administrators, the "head" librarian for the public library, etc.) Since I was staying with my parents, I contacted my old high school, and they were more than willing to provide a computer and proctor the exam.

My guess is that most online courses with proctored exams will define the criteria proctors must meet and provide some suggestions as to whom you should contact.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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I had a question: I think I am going to take intro to animal science and animal nutrition through OK State with their year long non traditional route which does not require you to apply to the university. My question is, will vet schools accept this? I am not sure if they will want a regular semester length course. I know quite a few others have taken it through OK State so im assuming it will transfer.

Also, how do you find a proctor?

Thanks!
Both classes are typically accepted. I'm taking OK state's correspondance animal nutrition class now, actually, even though I don't need it anymore. I listed the course on my VMCAS as taking place in the semester I started it.

For a proctor, you have two options - either get in touch with a professor you like and know well and ask them if they'd proctor the exam for you, or see if your old school or a nearby school has a testing center. The second option may cost you a little money. If you can't find a school with a set "testing center", you may be able to take advantage of your old school's disability services to get a testing proctor, but this isn't as likely if you're no longer taking classes there.

Edit: I think snagging a different sort of educator like GSDgirl suggested is okay for OK State, too, but it might be a little tougher.
 

jtom

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I was just wondering if anyone else had a recommendations for online biochem courses. I looked at the suggestions already, I could not find anything regarding washington state's or wyoming's courses and k-state has only 35 seats (I dont know if they are filled etc).

Are there any respectable online biochem classes that dont have a seat limit nor are in the typical semester periods (i wanted to take it in the fall and might want to start early)? Also if there are any where I dont have to officially apply to the program as a non degree seeking student would be great.

Thanks!
 

purplesaurus

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I know that CSU has a biochemistry course that is offered online:

http://www.learn.colostate.edu/courses/BC/BC351.dot

I took the class in person with this professor (Dr. Shoulders) last summer, and I thought he was an excellent professor. I also considered taking the class online due to some scheduling issues (but they worked out for me to take the class in person), and it sounded like he went beyond the "Read this chapter and take an exam" approach to the course. I think he told me he had recorded lectures for students to watch.

It's rather pricey and doesn't meet all your criteria (i.e., it has seat limits, is in a typically summer session), but I know about it, so I figured I'd pass on the info. And in case you are in fact interested, here's the page (to get started) for admissions as a non-degree-seeking student:

http://admissions.colostate.edu/NonDegree/

However, I think for their distance education courses (i.e., courses from the learn.colostate.edu site) you don't have to enroll at all, just register for the individual class on the site. However, I didn't do it that way, so I could be wrong on the details.