Student Story: Rachel Okoye, Western Texas College

Written by Isabel Del Canto • May 29, 2024 •  2 min read
Student Story: Rachel Okoye, Western Texas College Featured Image

Rachel’s Online Lab Experience

Rachel recently completed an online chemistry lab course at Western Texas College, which helped her earn her Associate’s degree. While at WTC, Rachel took a series of on-campus and online science courses, but because she is a student athlete, needed to look for lab options that worked around this commitment. 

Because she had taken a chemistry course prior to this online lab, she felt confident going into this course; however, it would be different to conduct experiments on her own. 

“I actually connected with another student in the course and we would reach out to each other with questions. So while it wasn’t the same as having a lab partner right there, I still felt like I was able to connect with other students.”

Rachel Okoye

When Rachel first opened her hands-on kit, she was surprised by the amount of materials provided and felt assured she had everything she needed to do the labs well and safely. 

????Light Bulb Moment????

Rachel thought the labs would take much longer than they did. With guidance from her instructor and instructions that took her step by step, Rachel found the process of conducting labs on her own easier than expected. “Each step explained in detail what to do, and I was able to see how it applied to the lecture and concepts we were learning. The videos and images helped to see if I was doing things right. And in the end, it was a great opportunity to apply what we were learning to real-world scenarios.”

Now that Rachel has earned her Associate’s degree from Western Texas College, she looks to transfer to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. When she discussed registering for the online course with her advisor, she felt confident her lab credits would transfer, particularly given that the online lab included a hands-on component. 

My Most Memorable Lab: Titration
“I loved the setup for this experiment. Using the titrator, beaker, and all the chemicals was fun. Being able to see the chemical reactions in front of my very own eyes was helpful in understanding the concepts we were learning. I even messed up a bit on one of them but there was enough of the chemicals to do it twice, so it was good practice and a cool learning experience.”

Drawing Conclusions

Like any good experiment, you work your way through the scientific method to analyze the results, reflect on your findings, and draw your conclusions so you can move forward with new knowledge and ideas. 

So now that you’re at the end of your online lab course, tell us: what did you learn and what advice might you give after your experience?

Do the work! It’s at your own pace, which is great for students like me with hectic schedules or jobs but you need to plan your time. Don’t do it all at once. And if you get stuck, always reach out to your instructor or classmates. Even online, it’s still a learning community.

Rachel Okoye