Trending in higher ed: Major online growth

STEM Engineering

Across the nation, online course options in higher education have expanded greatly in recent years. Offerings range from fully online programs to hybrid courses which utilize both in-class and online learning experiences.

While each state seems to take its own approach to answer the needs of their students, Utah has made some recent strides toward making sure all Utahns can affordably access a quality postsecondary education with the tools, resources, and information that start them on the path to completion, especially for underserved populations and first-generation college students through online offerings.

As of 2016, Utah System of Higher Education institutions offered more than 80 certificate and degree programs entirely online reaching students in all 50 states.

The surge to online accessibility was most recently reflected in the University of Utah’s proposed online-only tuition schedule for the 2019-20 academic year which the Utah Board of Regents examined and approved at the March 2019 Board meeting.

This comes after the U of U developed the UOnline initiative in 2015 which initiated 84 new online courses in Business Administration, Psychology, Economics, Nursing, and Social work to be implemented over the span of three years. Currently, more than 130,000 credit hours are delivered online each year through the U of U.

The U of U’s new online-only tuition schedule will offer students more flexibility in their education to affordably attend, graduate, and enter the workforce sooner.

For the 2019-20 academic year, the online tuition and fees schedule, effective spring 2020, will be $260 per credit hour ($200 tuition, $60 fee) for students pursuing a fully online degree in specific, eligible undergraduate online programs.

This development builds on the 2016 commitment to the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) which makes online programs and distance education more accessible to Utahns.

See more on how other states are answering the need for online higher education.

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