Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Online Education Expanding As Traditional Offerings Shrink

In New York, it will be foreign languages, the classics and theater. In Missouri, it could be agriculture and special education. Public colleges and universities throughout the country are cutting a variety of associates, bachelors, masters and PhD programs, as well as certificate programs.
State money helps to pay for public colleges and universities, where tuition is often less expensive than at private institutions. Now, public colleges and universities throughout the country are looking for ways to accommodate state budget cuts. Many have already increased tuition, perhaps even eliminated faculty and staff positions.
Throughout Missouri, colleges and universities are preparing for cuts of about 15 percent, which would be in the double digits and begin in July. In Louisiana, some $280 million has been cut from the budgets of public colleges and universities, according to an October report from KSLA News 12 online. Already, tuition fees at one Louisiana institution have gone up by some $300 per student per semester, and more than 100 faculty and staff member positions have been eliminated, the KSLA News 12 report notes.
In instances where colleges and universities have been cutting programs, they're cutting those that aren't as popular as others. According to an October report in the Kansas City Star, a university in Missouri might cut associate degree and bachelors degree programs where fewer than 10 degrees are awarded after an average three years. The Missouri university could also cut masters degree and PhD degree programs that produce less than five and three degrees respectively, according to the Kansas City Star.
A university in upstate New York over the past three years has seen its state assistance decline by 30 percent, or more than $44 million, according to a "Talk of the Nation" report on National Public Radio in October. That university has eliminated its entire Italian, Russian and French foreign language departments, as well as its degree programs in theater and classics, the report noted. The existing programs conclude in May 2012.
At least one institution is moving some of its bachelors degree programs online as a means of saving money. Already, some 74,000 students are participating in 135 online degree programs at the institution, an article in the student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, noted. "In the long run it will be less expensive, because you'll cut down on the buildings you'd have to build," university board member Frank Daniels, Jr., was quoted in the Daily Tar Heel as saying.
Online degree programs save students money as well. With distance degree programs, students don't have to worry about costs associated with commuting or child care. They schedule studies between work and family responsibilities. Because many online college and university courses that are part of associate and bachelors degree programs and graduate programs employ audio, video and interactive elements as part of instruction and the "virtual" classroom experience, students who participate in them might also gain valuable technology skills.
Employers have reported viewing online degrees as having the same weight as those obtained in a traditional campus setting. Colleges and universities with physical campuses, along with virtual schools, offer online degrees. Students can find a variety of associate and bachelors degree programs, as well as graduate degree and certificate offerings, online. In instances where the degree programs in which they're participating are cut in their entirety, students might be able to complete their programs through an online degree offering from another institution.

No comments:

Post a Comment