portrait of Melissa Venable, Ph.D.

Melissa Venable, Ph.D.

Melissa A. Venable, Ph.D., is an online education advisor for BestColleges. In this role, she leads and writes the annual Online Education Trends Report. Melissa is an adjunct faculty member and course designer at Saint Leo University and the University of South Florida; she is also a certified career coach with a background in career development services. Melissa earned her doctorate in instructional technology at the University of South Florida with research interests in distance education and support services for online students.

Use these tips so you can feel prepared for success and armed with questions and applicable skills when starting your first job after college. Feeling anxious about heading back to a college campus? Discover tips to ease campus return anxiety and feel prepared for a successful in-person semester. Don't let your summer pass you by. Instead of sitting at home, consider making a reading list, practicing a new skill, or even taking a class. More and more colleges plan to reopen this fall, but students must maintain realistic expectations as they prepare to return to campus. Looking for the right college fit? Tapping into reliable sources like campus websites and direct contact with schools and students are key to your search. Today's college grads and soon-to-be grads must enter a daunting job market due to COVID-19, but you can still secure a job and achieve your career goals. Finding a job after graduating college can be difficult. Learn useful skills and strategies to help you attract potential employers and demonstrate your value. Understand the real costs of an online vs. on-campus education to determine which is better for your unique needs and circumstances. Mentors can be valuable resources for college students and recent grads. This guide covers how to ask for mentorship in a professional and polite manner. College presentations can be nerve-racking. Explore the best tips and tricks for giving engaging presentations and reducing pre-presentation stress. Our newest Online Education Trends Report reveals unique insights about online learning trends and COVID-19's impact on school and student perspectives. Find out what questions to ask when searching for high-quality online schools, and get expert tips on how to determine the quality of an online program. A panel of online education experts share their tips for remote learning success and advice for choosing a high-quality online bachelor's program. Zoom etiquette can go a long way in online learning and community-building. Learn the best practices for participating in live, online video meetings. A new report introduces the top workplace competencies — the knowledge, skills, and abilities — today's employers look for when evaluating job candidates. You can't always practice what you've learned in a real-world setting, which is why simulations are key to honing the job skills you'll need to succeed. The pandemic has forced many college students to stay home — but that doesn't mean you can't virtually participate in campus clubs and organizations. In a new BestColleges survey, online college students share their biggest tips for doing well in an online class, from taking notes to asking questions. Before COVID-19, colleges relied on letter grades and exams. Now, schools are adopting alternative modes of assessment, like pass/fail marks and epic finales. Part of earning a good grade in an online class is being able to give a stellar virtual presentation. These expert online presentation tips guarantee success. Many online students find it hard to address personal struggles with their professors. Learn how to compose a professional email to get the support you need. Students often worry about the effectiveness of online classes. To assuage these concerns, many colleges are using quality standards to design online curricula. Many colleges will remain online this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These six tips will teach students who are new to online education how to succeed. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many students to rethink community service, but you can still volunteer and make a difference — even if you're stuck at home. College students today face an uncertain future when it comes to work. Two career theories offer tips for job hunting and finding professional success. Many schools plan to hold online classes this fall due to COVID-19. Staying open minded about online education can help you make the most of the upcoming term. A college mentor can support students in their academic and professional pursuits, even virtually. Learn what a good mentor looks like and how to find one. Due to COVID-19, many colleges are letting students take a lab online. Learn what to expect in online science labs, from at-home kits to digital simulations. COVID-19 has exacerbated existing challenges for colleges, such as low enrollment. The future of higher education may lie in technology and online learning. COVID-19 has made career planning more uncertain than ever. Learn how to prepare yourself to face any challenges that may disrupt your professional journey. As colleges debate whether to reopen their campuses, students evaluate their options for the fall term, which include re-enrolling and taking a gap year. As college career centers go virtual due to COVID-19, students still need help finding jobs online, confirming internships, and improving professional profiles. Group projects in college, especially in online classes, can be tricky to handle. Learn the best tips for planning and executing remote group assignments. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced professors to transition to online classes. Discover some of the best skills and resources for how to teach online. In the wake of COVID-19, virtual classes have created challenges for students and instructors. Check out these essential tips for making the switch to online learning. The coronavirus outbreak may cause college campuses to close in the United States. Here are some tips to prepare for the switch to online learning. Online education is increasingly popular, but students may wonder whether it's worth it. Melissa Venable, Ph.D., debunks the myths about earning an online degree. Online education presents many options, including what have become known as "mega-universities." Explore what these options mean for students. Deciding to take classes online or on campus is a difficult choice. This article guides you through the decision-making process. Online education is gaining traction, but many students still have questions. Our BestColleges survey sheds light on online students' biggest pieces of advice.