Michael RossThis is the first in our new series of Saylor.org student snapshots. Here, Michael Ross tells us his story.

My name is Michael Ross. At the time of writing this profile I am at the age of 30. I have a strong interest in 3 majors at the Saylor Foundation, but have decided to stick with business as my primary field of study — although I often devote a significant amount of time to studying communication. To date, I’ve completed 3 courses and am near the completion of 5 others.

Over the past several years, I’ve studied online through numerous colleges, educational organizations, and government agencies. It’s fair to say I’m no stranger when it comes to utilizing the Internet as a tool for learning…I’ve taken classes in a variety of fields such as Constitutional Law, Emergency Management, Programming and many others.  In my opinion, an education is a precious gift that can benefit any individual over a lifetime. For this reason and due to there being far too much that I seek to know, I can never stop learning.

On the other hand, I’m a current student at a college in Boston. I utilize Saylor courses for a greater understanding of what is being taught within my classroom. I’m also planning to use several Saylor courses within a portfolio for the prior learning assessment program within my school. I could be awarded college credits based on an evaluation of what I’ve learned through Saylor. Therefore, what I learn at Saylor not only satisfies my goal of lifelong learning but also has the potential of adding credits towards my degree.

Another benefit of taking Saylor courses is that they can be completed at my own pace. This has given me the opportunity to study at a time which is convenient without having to worry about due dates. I devote a significant amount of time to these courses for the sole purpose of mastering the content. I want to be able to remember what I’ve learned 10 years from now and I believe this is a great way to see it happen.

In conclusion, it brings me great joy to see Saylor’s courses benefit so many people in so many ways. If you’re just beginning a Saylor course, the best way to approach it  is to get involved with it. Having a clear purpose and setting goals throughout your course can make a huge impact on your learning experience. It also wouldn’t hurt to participate in the discussion boards and collaborate with others from all over the world. But most importantly, all that really matters is that you have fun learning.