One of the top online colleges in the nation, Arkansas State ensures that its faculty members are trained in the online mode of delivery. Online learners have access to a diverse network of peers and support services, including tutoring and a help-desk. Note that online degrees are only available in some states, so students should check availability.
Located in Odessa, TX, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers students a choice of 35 undergraduate and 18 graduate programs. The university is one of the best online colleges in the region. Its current 250 teaching faculty members serve more than 7,000 students who attend campus-based courses or study online. UTPB is part of the University of Texas system of nine universities and six health institutions in the Lone Star State. The distance degree program was named among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs for 2016 by U.S. News and World Report. Online students can complete one of 18 bachelor degrees, 10 master's programs, and five online education certificates. Many of the bachelor-level courses are offered in 8-week semester formats, and some online courses are offered through University of Texas Online consortium (UTOC).
A name brand school, Penn State World Campus (part of the Pennsylvania State University system), has been offering students an alternative to traditional on-campus education since 1998. Penn State World Campus offers over 150 degree and certificate programs all delivered online. These courses are developed and taught by Penn State professors, ensuring the highest quality course content. The university is focused on offering an education to suit current market-based needs. Online courses are offered from the Bachelors to the Doctoral level, and include programs such as Nursing, Nutritional Science, and Geographic Information Systems.
In the doctoral dissertation, and then later in The Journal of Professional Counseling, Dr. Anthony Centore, states the following about online services: “Since the beginning, mental health counseling practices have endured many theoretical shifts—from Freudian, to Jungian, to Rogerian, and so on. However, a recent shift concerns not therapeutic theory but the medium through which counseling is provided. While historically counseling relationships have developed through scheduled in-person communications between counselor and client, telephone and online technologies now offer new paths for the formation of those healing relationships.”
With more than 20 years of experience in online learning, the University of Denver has honed the art of distance education. Online classes are asynchronous, so students are not required to be online at the same time, instead logging into online class when their schedule permits. And all classes are available both online and on campus (or in a hybrid format), so students can choose the format that works best for them.
The University of Toledo has been offering online courses for two decades, giving them plenty of time create one of the best online schools in the nation for adults who want to further their career. The flexibility of the courses offered by UT is one of the biggest draws, particularly for adults who are working or have families, or for military members. These students are usually looking for a way to move forward, and the online degrees offered by UT are designed to do just that. With degrees offered from the associate to doctoral level, students and adult learners of all ages can find something that fits their needs, helping them advance their career or learn new skills to pivot into a new field.
Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus serves more than 35,000 at its main campus in Stillwater, online through OCampus, at campus locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and the OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. Popular majors include agriculture operations; business (management and marketing); biological and biomedical sciences; and engineering. OSU also serves distance students as one of the best online colleges in the region, with more than 32 online degree programs leading to baccalaureate and master's degrees through OCampus. Certificate students can select among 10 online programs in the fields of business, engineering, finance, and online teaching.
Online learning also has its downsides, and not every subject is suited for online education, though even some surprising fields like fine arts are starting to embrace it. Prospective students should be on the lookout for scams; in addition to checking whether a program has accreditation, they should research university faculty and support services at colleges where they plan to apply, such as the ability to interact with advisers virtually.
Lehigh serves nearly 7,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate. There are four colleges at Lehigh University: the College of Arts and Sciences, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. There are also 9 master’s degree programs offered online through the Office of Distance Education as well as 3 certificate programs.
Over 8,000 students attend Princeton and the university offers a generous 5:1 student to faculty ratio. Princeton University has 36 academic departments designed to serve students and offers over 50 interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate programs, 18 master’s programs, 42 doctoral departments and programs, as well as 33 interdisciplinary or interdepartmental doctoral programs. Princeton also offers online courses in a dozen areas of study over four different platforms.
UMKC is renowned for their high-quality online programs and is home to one of the top 20 online Graduate Nursing Programs in the country, as well as highly-ranked online Bachelor’s and Graduate Education programs (U.S. News & World Report). And UMKC has recently been awarded the SANsational award by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) for their online presence in the State Authorization area.
As a student at Penn State World Campus, you’ll be able to complete your program at your own pace. Courses at Penn State World Campus are delivered in asynchronous format, so you can attend classes on your own schedule. You’ll experience both self-study and peer-to-peer interaction using chat, video conferencing, phone calls, email, social media, bulletin boards, and more. Some top degree programs offered include:
The professional science master's degree focuses on sustainability science and prepares graduates for science careers in government, business, or nonprofits. The school offers tuition for online learners regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency, comprehensive support services for online learners, and the freedom to transfer scholarships from community colleges.
For many people, earning a college degree is about much more than just the degree. Newman University knows that many people earn a degree to improve their career, so they offer degree programs that don't just educate, but prepare students for life after college. The same can be said about the online degrees offered at Newman University. Designed for working adults who cannot regularly attend scheduled classes, and students that live away from campus, the degrees offered through the online school will help students learn the skills to change or improve their career. Because of the quality and direction of the master's programs, Newman University is considered one the best online schools for students who want to advance their career, particularly if they are involved in theology or education.
An online master's degree is an ideal choice for those who want to jumpstart their career or make a career change without having to give up their full-time job. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost one quarter of graduate students were enrolled in exclusively online courses in 2013, and the number of online courses offered has grown since then.
Online graduate students enrolled at Northeastern can choose from 37 master's degree pathways. These include nine degrees in business- and management-related fields, seven in health and human services and five in education. The university also offers several highly specialized programs for online master's students, including tracks in energy systems, geographic information technology, homeland security, security and resilience studies and two degrees concentrated in regulatory affairs. Doctorates in education and transitional physical therapy are also available in a primarily online format. Additionally, two undergraduate certificates and 30 graduate certificates can be earned entirely online within one year of full-time study.
Despite what some students may think, online colleges are no less challenging than traditional colleges. Depending on a student’s learning style, keeping up with online work may actually prove to be more demanding for some. When asked about the greatest challenges they face while studying online, a majority of students in a Learning House survey cited motivation, attention, and focus as their main concerns.
The impact of the digital revolution can also be assessed by exploring the amount of worldwide mobile smart device users there are. This can be split into 2 categories smart phone users and smart tablet users. Worldwide there are currently 2.32 billion smartphone users across the world. This figure is to exceed 2.87 billion by 2020. Smart tablet users reached a total of 1 billion in 2015, 15% of the world’s population. The first mobile phone was released in 1973 by a senior engineer in Motorola  and was only affordable by the incredibly wealthy. The fact that such a large proportion of the world’s population own smart devices demonstrates the rapid level of growth achieved throughout the digital revolution.