Home > Community Colleges, Distance Education, Educational Leadership, Higher Education > Online Education Made Possible With College, Management Firm Partnerships

Online Education Made Possible With College, Management Firm Partnerships

By Reginald Stuart

For schools and the online learning management companies that serve them, offering full-degree online programs is more than just an academic pursuit. When Jackson State University opened for classes this year, it marked its fifth anniversary in the online education business by adding a full four-year, undergraduate degree program in early childhood education to its offerings. “It’s certainly a part of the future,” says Dr. Willie Brown, vice president for information and process management at Jackson State, about online full-degree programs.

Jackson State is among a growing number of historically Black colleges tying part of their future survival and growth strategy to the online education industry. In its 2010 HBCU Distance Learning Report, the Howard University Digital Learning Lab identified 19 HBCUs offering online degrees last fall, an increase of 58 percent over fall of 2006. While the majority of online degrees were offered by public HBCUs, private HBCUs appeared to be catching up.

A variety of forces are converging to make the online education business appealing to HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions this decade, say higher education experts and online education services vendors. With increasing competition from other higher education providers like community colleges and for-profit universities, HBCUs have seen their traditional student base shrink, leaving them scrambling to find new sources of students and revenue. In such a landscape, online education can become a powerful lure, providing a near global reach to thousands more potential students — if the startup costs can be conquered. Last decade, several large schools lost millions of dollars on their online education ventures, due in part to the unexpectedly high costs of running the entire operation in-house.

Continued at: http://diverseeducation.com/article/15282/

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  1. April 27, 2011 at 12:39 am

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