There is no doubt that online education and blended learning programs are rapidly evolving areas for professional and career colleges. In fact, an online education survey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board shows that online enrollment at higher education institutions is growing at 17 percent a year, compared to 1.2 percent growth for on-campus course enrollment.
Students are driving this online surge. They are demanding the flexibility of online education, which allows them to adapt coursework to their work/life schedules. They also need online environments that provide a rich and supportive learning experience to help them reach their goals.
We recently talked with some of our clients to see what type of impact they felt online learning was having on their students. Westwood College rolled out Blackboard Learn in training and test groups and the initial feedback has been excellent. According to David Harpool, President, Westwood College Online, Redstone College, Alta Colleges Online, Inc, “Our goal is provide students a better classroom experience and Blackboard Learn is effectively engaging distant learners. The robust and positive learning environment will definitely help retention rates, not to mention increase student and faculty overall satisfaction.”
The opportunities for meeting learner needs, attracting new students and outpacing the competition are great. In fact, Central Penn currently offers 12 fully-online degree programs and has seen a substantial increase in enrollment due to flexible approach that supports adult learners.
Erika Wilkinson, Online Education Coordinator, at Central Penn said, “The online classes have helped students remove boundaries and complete degrees in a time that fits their schedule. By using Blackboard, we can track attendance, grades, and provide students a very supportive online community.” The combination of these offerings has resulted in online students at Central Penn graduating and finding jobs.
For another success story, check out this one from Capella University: Capella Creates the Ultimate Online Student Experience.