Public 2-Year Schools

Ocean County College Student Completes Degree Entirely Online

Name & Domain: Michael Santos, 21, matriculated at OCC in 2015, and earned his degree in May 2017, but he could be excused for not knowing his way around campus. Santos – who is originally from Union, and now lives in Barnegat – took each and every one of his classes online.

Net-work: After graduating from Roselle Catholic School, Santos got a job, and began to save money for college. “I have been working at Walgreens for two years,” he noted. “I started as a cashier and a shelf stocker. I am now the photo tech and also work in the pharmacy.”

Computing From Home: As Santos pointed out, online classes were the best fit for his busy schedule. “Having to work to pay for my education, online classes served me well,” he explained. “Online classes really helped me out by letting me receive an education while working.”

Slick with the Clicks: Santos considers himself tech-savvy, which helped him become quickly accustomed to OCC’s e-learning platform. “I am very good with computers: navigating them, and setting them up. Usually, when my family has a problem with any type of technology they end up calling me.”

Backup: “My family, and especially my girlfriend, were a huge support system during my time attending school and working,” Santos remarked. “They really encouraged me and also made sure I kept on track. As the time went by I became a lot better at time management and planning my week’s work ahead of time.”

Virtual Victory: “The number one thing I liked about online classes is the challenge,” said Santos. “Online classes made me a better planner and taught me how to manage my time wisely. It’s easy to get sidetracked with other things. You need to have the willpower to log on every day and stay focused. There are times where you would rather click on to another tab to check your social media accounts, but you need to have the willpower to stay focused on the task at hand.”

OCC Online: “I had great experiences with all my classes,” said Santos. “All the teachers were attentive and responded back as quick as possible to whatever questions I had. I was very pleased with the staff at OCC. One of my favorite classes was criminal justice, (which) has to do with the field I want to go into.”

Keep Scrolling: Santos plans to work for another two years “to gather more work experience, and, while working, I want to start preparing for the Police Academy physically. The Academy is a hard thing to go through so I want to spend as much time as I can with family and prepare myself for the challenges ahead.”

“My plan is to become a police officer for the Barnegat Police Department,” he added. “I love the area I live in now and would love to keep working to make it an even better place. My dream is to become a K9 officer. I love dogs and my dream is to become an officer, so why not merge those two together?”

Runtime & Bookmarks: In his free time, said Santos, “My girlfriend, Megan, and I love taking our dogs out for runs. We like to find dog parks and beaches that allow dogs. The beach is normally where we go to run and also take time to enjoy the ocean. What can beat the crisp air from the beach as you’re running? Megan and I own two dogs. Our Miniature Schnauzer named Luna is three years old. We also have a Yorkie named Toby and he’s 15 years old. He’s our little old man.”

Santos also likes to spend time with his family, play soccer with friends, and visit the boardwalks and arcades of various shore towns. And, he noted “I like to go to Barnes & Noble to read different books for hours,” as well as comics. “It’s soothing and a good way to pass time.”