Things are tough all over for the economy and tuition rates, but there is good news, such as Arizona’s plan to make college more accessible and affordable to students. In fact, the Arizona Board of Regents plans to implement one of the country’s most comprehensive online offerings for higher education degrees, with the intention to grow online enrollment to over 50,000 students by 2020. That’s a significant investment in Arizona online colleges.
Such bold moves can pay off in the near future. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 61 percent of all jobs in Arizona will require a college credential by 2018. As employers begin to sift through all those resumes, students who have taken the initiative to higher education – whether it is a certificate, diploma or degree – could have a significant advantage.
Online colleges have seen enrollment jump substantially over the last several years. A 2013 report from the Sloan Consortium found that 6.7 million students took at least one online class in the fall of 2011, an increase of over 570,000 students from the year before. Online schools in Arizona are primed and ready for a new influx of students who seek a quality education in a different kind of atmosphere.
Whether your educational goals include an associate degree that gets you into the workforce quickly, a bachelor’s degree that prepares you for entry-level positions or continuing education that can help you get that promotion, online colleges in Arizona are poised to help you fulfill those dreams.
For many years, online colleges have been a viable option for busy parents, working professionals and others who don’t have the time to sit in a traditional classroom or adhere to a typical class schedule. Online education is also great for those who live far away from campus, have mobility issues or learning disabilities, or even those who simply prefer to learn in a different way. Even high school kids who want to get a jump on college credits but can’t take time out of their regular school day can take online courses during their free time.
Online colleges in Arizona are a great way for more students to have access to higher education, no matter what has held them back in the past. Here are just a few of the very good reasons why online education could be right for you.
There was a time, not so long ago, when a student who wanted to attend school anywhere away from home would have to travel a long distance to do so. This usually meant pulling up roots and moving to the school they wanted to attend. That could disrupt their job, their family life and so many other things that were important to them, so many would-be students either chose to not go to college or to attend a college closer to them, one that perhaps didn’t offer the courses or degrees they wanted. Today, the classroom can be beamed across the world and the courses can be taken from anywhere you can find an internet connection. Now college comes to you, instead of the other way around.
Online colleges in Arizona offer many different avenues to learning that might not have been offered in the traditional classroom. Rather than attend lectures at a set time, you can now listen to them when you can really focus – on your time table, not a set schedule. You can indulge in message boards, collaborative work via email or chat, streaming video and other options that make the learning experience a much more well-rounded one. Best of all, this breaks learning out of the usual box and makes it individual – just like you.
When you engage in online learning, the bulky textbooks are replaced with a sleek laptop and raising your hand is replaced with being heard on a message board. Course materials, access to teachers and a wide variety of options for homework and discussion are available at your fingertips. Most importantly, this all happens at a time that is convenient for you.
When online learning first burst onto the scene, critics often pointed out that it took away the “human” element from education by removing the face-to-face interaction that most people expected from the classroom experience. But as technology has become better and online learning has found ways to be just as social as the classroom setting, communication through online schools might actually be better than communication in a brick-and-mortar classroom. How? By sending emails to get quick answers, using message boards to discuss classes with peers and even using real-time video chats to get the extra help you need.
Busy parents have kids who need their attention. Working professionals have business to keep them busy. Students have obligations that go beyond the classroom. For those who are juggling work and family obligations and still hoping to attend school, Arizona online colleges can make that a reality. When the only study time you have is at night, very early in the morning or on weekends, online education allows you to take advantage of the gaps in your schedule.
There was a time when online schools were looked upon with suspicion by educators and students like; today, online education has been enthusiastically embraced as a viable alternative to brick-and-mortar institutions. In fact, the Sloan Consortium found that 77 percent of academic leaders believe online education is of the same quality of even better than that found in traditional classrooms. The acceptance continues to grow, with sixty-nine percent of academic leaders saying online learning is integral to the long-term educational strategy of the school.
But do Arizona online colleges really live up to the hype? Studies say yes, they do. A study conducted by SRI International, anon-profit independent research institution, found that students in online classes performed “modestly better” than students who took the traditional classroom route. There could be many reasons for this, including the fact that online students can study at their own time and pace, or that the distractions of the classroom are non-existent when a student is taking classes and doing homework from their own convenient place.
What do employers think? More and more employers are finding that online education prepares their employees for work just as well as traditional schools do, and in addition, employees who have attended online schools might have the advantage of exposure to many different online platforms and programs. This can be advantageous to an employer who wants to communicate with clients around the country or even around the globe.
According to a 2013 report by the Lumina Foundation, 35.12 percent of Arizona residents hold a two-year degree or higher, which is almost on a par with the national average of 38.3 percent. The state ranks 36th among all other states in terms of educational attainment. A study of U.S. Census results by The Business Journals found that Arizona ranks 29th among states in terms of bachelor’s degrees – 26.4 percent of residents held at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011.
In order to meet the workforce demands by 2025, the Lumina Foundation projects another 900,259 degrees will be required. That seems like a high number, but with the help of online schools in Arizona, it could become a reality.
Online education offers the opportunity for certificates, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and even doctoral degrees in a wide variety of fields. Whether you want to boost your college credit, find time to study while the kids are sleeping or pursue a new career, online colleges in Arizona can help you reach those goals. For more information about the opportunities available through Arizona online colleges, take a look at our list of state resources and institutions below.
|School Name||Program Types||Enrollment|
|Allen School-Phoenix||Campus, Online||779|
|Argosy University-Phoenix Online Division||Campus, Online, Hybrid||13,863|
|Arizona State University||Campus, Online||72,254|
|Brookline College-Phoenix||Campus, Online||1,585|
|Carrington College-Mesa||Campus, Online, Hybrid||853|
|Carrington College-Phoenix||Campus, Online, Hybrid||785|
|Carrington College-Tucson||Campus, Online, Hybrid||592|
|Chandler/Gilbert Community College||Campus, Online||14,030|
|Cochise College||Campus, Online||4,912|
|Eastern Arizona College||Campus, Online||6,997|
|Estrella Mountain Community College||Campus, Online||8,243|
|Everest College Phoenix||Campus, Online, Hybrid||2,254|
|Everest College Phoenix-Mesa||Campus, Online, Hybrid||300|
|GateWay Community College||Campus, Online||6,801|
|Glendale Community College||Campus, Online||21,376|
|Grand Canyon University||Campus, Online, Hybrid||40,487|
|Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts-Scottsdale||Campus, Online, Hybrid||1,560|
|Mohave Community College||Campus, Online||6,107|
|National Paralegal College||Campus, Online||837|
|Northcentral University||Campus, Online||9,662|
|Northern Arizona University||Campus, Online||25,359|
|Ottawa University-Phoenix||Campus, Online||975|
|Paradise Valley Community College||Campus, Online||9,874|
|Phoenix College||Campus, Online||12,565|
|Pima Community College||Campus, Online||36,969|
|Pima Medical Institute-East Valley||Campus, Online||491|
|Pima Medical Institute-Mesa||Campus, Online||1,559|
|Pima Medical Institute-Tucson||Campus, Online||1,617|
|Rio Salado College||Campus, Online||25,109|
|Sessions College for Professional Design||Campus, Online|
|Southwest Institute of Healing Arts||Campus, Online||1,054|
|Thunderbird School of Global Management||Campus, Online||1,267|
|University of Advancing Technology||Campus, Online||1,052|
|University of Arizona||Campus, Online||39,236|
|University of Phoenix-Online Campus||Campus, Online||307,871|
|University of Phoenix-Phoenix Campus||Campus, Online, Hybrid||6,262|
|University of Phoenix-Southern Arizona Campus||Campus, Online, Hybrid||2,316|
|Western International University||Campus, Online||3,239|
|Yavapai College||Campus, Online||7,837|