Not All Private Universities Jumping Into Online Courses
Career College Central summary:
As more students are demanding online classes and degrees that they can obtain without being on campus, some of Florida’s private colleges have said no. Denise-Marie Ordway of The Orlando Sentinel writes that some college administrators like those at Rollins College in Winter Park and Florida Southern College in Lakeland worry they will be sacrificing high-quality, face-to-face instruction for the sake of convenience. But they also wonder what will happen if they choose not to keep up with the online trend. The competition is fierce because students are choosing to say no to the high cost of private universities.
David Richard, a dean at Rollins, said that the online option is great for learning information and then demonstrating that knowledge, but it does not teach the life skills employers want outside of a classroom. “The thinking is that you can’t develop critical thinking and problem solving without deep interaction with students and professors.”
This situation leaves liberal-arts schools facing a difficult question: What will happen if more students start valuing class convenience and lower prices over an experience that involves living on campus and having contact with professors and classmates?
College administrators recognize that students want online learning. Most high schools in Florida require students to complete at least one online class before graduation. This leaves students and working professionals asking for online courses that allow them to study whenever and wherever they want.
Demand for online programs is growing nationwide. More than 6.7 million students in the U.S. took at least one online course in fall 2011 — an increase of 570,000 students over the year before, according to a survey released in 2013 by the Babson Survey Research Group in Massachusetts.
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