Students at Hodges University

How Do You Take Your Degree?

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Like your favorite cup of coffee, there are many ways for you to earn a college degree, from on campus and online to blended. Gone are the days when only on-campus classes were available. Today students can choose their path by taking advantage of the way classes are offered. Regardless of how students take classes, they all have the same goal: graduation.

Physical Therapist Assistants Hodges University

Lawrence Force

For Hodges graduate Lawrence Force, his son, Logan, inspired his career choice: physical therapy. Logan was born with a congenital heart defect. A dedicated team of therapists worked on Logan, and that motivated Lawrence to become a therapist himself. The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Hodges, however, requires in-class instruction and training.

“It was a challenge for me and my family to sacrifice my income, and balancing coursework and family was not easy,” he said. “The ability to obtain my degree in two years at Hodges versus some of the other schools really made it easy for me to pursue my passion while not placing more stress on my family.”

The PTA program is rigorous, and students learn about neurological and musculoskeletal disorders, modalities, orthopedic and therapeutic exercise, as well as receiving hands-on training in the classroom and through internships at local clinics.

“Being a pediatric PTA is very challenging, but the rewards are so great. It sounds cliché, but I love what I do, and I don’t think of it as my job,” he said. “I get to work with some of the best kids, amazing families, caregivers, and other therapists. I get to help these children reach their maximum potential and improve their quality of life, and what can be more rewarding than that?”

[Related: Build Your Future as a Physical Therapist Assistant]


Online courses provide flexibility to attend Hodges, regardless of the physical location of students.   

While the PTA program requires traditional classroom instruction and training, Hodges University also offers online and blended options. Online classes do not swap convenience for quality, but instead, provide students with the same support and knowledge they’d expect to receive on campus. The online platform utilizes aspects like instant messaging and instructional support that allow for interaction with both peers and professors. Virtual office hours, recorded lectures and real-time conferencing are included in the Hodges University learning management system, and the courses are taught by faculty who must meet stringent online teaching criteria. Online courses provide flexibility to attend Hodges, regardless of the physical location of students.


The blended pathway is one way Hodges keeps options flexible for adult students who may have trouble getting their degree in a traditional program.

Sometimes, students need the convenience of online classes but also benefit from face-to-face instruction. The blended pathway is one way Hodges keeps options flexible for adult students who may have trouble getting their degree in a traditional program.

“We’re particularly excited about our new approach to “blended” online/on-campus learning. Many adult learners need online flexibility but want some face-to-face engagement with faculty in a classroom setting,” said Brent Passey, vice president of admissions for Hodges. “Our blended model provides the perfect balance of on-campus learning and online flexibility. A student choosing the blended option will need to dedicate time on-campus once a week for three hours, and the rest of the class is fully online.”

[Related: A Pathway to Success: Taking a Look at Hodges’ New Approach to Learning]

How do you know which of these options is the right one for you? Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much flexibility do you need? If you have a busy life, with a job, family, and responsibilities, online courses may be the way to go. When you earn your degree online, you have the freedom to decide when you complete your coursework. Be aware, though, that online courses can sometimes take more effort because rather than hearing lectures and participating in classroom discussions, you may be required to read the lecture and write your response. This is just one example of the kind of “time tax” you may encounter when taking online courses.
  • Are you organized and independent? Taking online courses takes a high level of organization, good time management skills, strong comprehension and math skills, great written communication, and an understanding of your own study skills and needs. If you’re a highly motivated self-starter, you may be a good candidate for online courses.
  • Do you require direction and prefer personal attention? If you are a student who needs a lot of direction from the professor, if you have trouble navigating a course syllabus or struggle academically, an on-campus education may be your best bet. The professors at Hodges are committed to helping students succeed, and when you attend classes at one of our Southwest Florida campuses, you have access to all the resources our University has to offer.
  • Are you looking for a program that offers both flexibility and face-to-face support? It’s important for you to have people around you who support your educational goals, and while much of that support comes from friends and family, there’s much to be gained from connecting with professors and other students in person. A blended program can give you the flexibility of an online education, with the hands-on experience of on-campus learning.

No matter which path works for you, if you’re ready to make the journey toward a degree, Hodges University has a program to meet your needs.  Check out our campuses in Naples and Fort Myers, or take online classes at your convenience. We even offer accelerated classes, to help you finish sooner and move forward in your career. For more information, call us at (833) 510-1915 or contact us through our website.