Accessing Resources You Need for Online Degree Programs

A graduate of an online degree program celebrates at a pre-commencement reception hosted by Global Campus.

January 19, 2023  |  by Heidi Wells, Global Campus

Students who study online at the University of Arkansas take classes online, of course, and they meet with their faculty members and academic advisers in an online setting.

But they also conduct research online, receive tutoring online, get help with writing online and receive career counseling online.

And, they have access to software programs through student fees they pay, just like on-campus students.

We asked recipients of the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship what university resources they have used to be successful. They shared these thoughts.


Library Materials

University Libraries offer more than 3.7 million volumes and more than 232,000 journals and e-journals. These resources are available at the touch of a button to students studying in online degree programs. Last year, 2,360,289 online items were accessed; of course, many of these were used by students enrolled in degree programs offered on campus because online often offers the easiest access for everyone.

John Emett enrolled in the online doctorate in educational leadership after researching more than 100 online programs. He chose the U of A in part because he wanted to study at a Tier 1 research institution, and he finds access to online research journals indispensable to working on his doctoral dissertation.

John Emett

"I'm in love with the profession of teaching and education," said Emett, 39, of Saratoga Springs, Utah. "A doctorate is, in some ways, the pinnacle of competence. It shows me how to evaluate knowledge, practice and research. It teaches me how to approach problems in a way that would be relevant to science. "It is most impressive to access online research journals through our online library," continued Emett. "Pretty much anything I need, I get."

John Emett

Kirstyn Salehi, 31, is also a doctoral student in educational leadership. An in-state student from Jonesboro, she may be closer to the U of A than other students studying online, but the drive of more than 4 hours to Fayetteville means she's not dropping in when she needs a book or research article. She also talks about other perks available to online students.

Kirstyn Salehi

"I've relied heavily on the online library," Salehi said. "The librarians have been a wonderful help anytime I need an article or interlibrary loan. Also, the UARK subscription to Headspace has been amazing. I absolutely love it and all the little student benefits that I didn't expect to have as an online student at the University of Arkansas – being able to get a student ID and student discounts. I can read the New York Times free as a University of Arkansas student."

Kirstyn Salehi

Jennifer Terry also found online access to the university library system helpful, she said.

Jennifer Terry

"The library has been extremely helpful for getting a lot of professional articles that I needed for my classes," Terry said. "You just log in through the University of Arkansas Libraries. You would normally have to pay for access to many of those professional journals, but you get access to them for free through your University of Arkansas account."

Jennifer Terry

Terry, 43, lives in Bentonville and is a single mother of four children. She is studying the master's degree program in special education.


Career Counseling

Nathanael Martin-Nelson is both a stay-at-home father to his toddler daughter and an electrical engineering master's student, jobs that require varied talents. From his home in Ada, Ohio, he has taken advantage of career counseling offered by the U of A.

Nathanael Martin-Nelson

"I've been able to set up a meeting with the career advisor, and she went through my resume and my career strategy," said Martin-Nelson, 26. "I'm very grateful for that. It felt like I was an in-person student, like there was no difference. I've also gone to the career fairs. I found additional career paths that I was interested in."

Nathanael Martin-Nelson


Tutoring Services

Brett Littlejohn found valuable help in the tutoring services offered by the university, he said. The 44-year-old lives in Bentonville and is working on an Executive Master of Business Administration degree.

Brett Littlejohn

"This was my first experience with the finance class," he said. "The math was not the problem, but understanding where finance fits into the overall business world was a huge source of confusion for me. I met with the tutor weekly just to understand what a finance department or a finance professional does. It was hugely instrumental in my coursework."

Brett Littlejohn

Julia Moura, 19, uses tutoring services offered by the U of A from her home in Brazil, the largest country in South America.

Julia Moura

"Math is not a good subject for me," Moura said. "I've also used a little bit of the writing service, but not a whole too, too much. The IT department has been very well-used."

Julia Moura

Moura is enrolled in the online bachelor's degree in general business.


Financial aid information

Students studying online can also find everything they need to know about financial aid on the U of A's website; no need to book an appointment and find a parking space. Carlin Beiler of Harrison is the first in his family to get a college degree.

Beiler, 38, a student in the online bachelor's degree program in accounting, found financial aid opportunities available through the Financial Aid Office, applying for grants and scholarships to help pay for his online education. These included the Pell Grant and a transfer scholarship in 2020.

Carlin Beiler


"The U of A has some amazing financial aid resources," he said. "It's been very helpful and has exceeded my expectations."


Carlin Beiler


Volunteer Opportunities

Students studying in online degree programs also seek volunteer opportunities and the U of A comes through.

Trinity Barnes, 20, an international student in Belgium, found an online volunteer program called ENGin. She was able to match with a girl living in Ukraine and help her learn English. They meet two to three times a week.

Trinity Barnes

"It's been a really valuable experience for me that I found through the school," said Barnes, who is in the bachelor's degree program in communication. "I was just browsing through the U of A's volunteer network website, and I was just looking for online opportunities I could complete from Belgium. And I just found it on there and I completed the application, and it worked out."

Trinity Barnes


Badge Recognition

Emma Raines, 53, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in supply chain management, lives in Newport, Tennessee. She enjoyed earning badge recognition through Suitable.

Emma Raines

"In several classes, we earned integrity badges through a program called Suitable," she said. "You listen to different lectures, go to webinars and things like that and put the badges on your LinkedIn profile. Certain employers recognize and support this program. JB Hunt is really big on that and so are some others."

Emma Raines

Vicki Martin and Casey Kraichoke of the Global Campus contributed to this article.

Photo of Heidi Wells

Heidi Wells

Content Strategist

Heidi Wells is the content strategist for the Global Campus at the University of Arkansas and editor of The Online Learner. Her writing spans more than 30 years as a communicator at the U of A and a reporter and editor at Arkansas newspapers. Wells earned two degrees from the U of A: a master's in 2013 and a bachelor's in 1988.

Wells can be reached at or 479-575-7239.

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