Fall Enrollment Up 37% for Online Degree Programs

Nearly 2,000 students are earning their degrees online from Eastern Kentucky University, an increase of 37 percent since last fall.

The most significant growth was in online graduate education, which saw enrollment increase by 59 percent due to elevated interest and the addition of new programs. Enrollment in online undergraduate degree programs increased 25 percent over the last 12 months.

As online education has grown in popularity across the country, EKU has developed its own learner-centered approach that offers students a quality, accredited education in a format that suits their busy lives.

“The goal of our online programs is to provide a transformative experience, which means we prepare our students to be leaders in their careers and encourage them to think critically and creatively about their respective disciplines, said EKU Provost Dr. Janna Vice. “Above all, we want students who are completing their degrees online to graduate with self-confidence, knowing that they can fulfill their long-time dreams.”

In 2006, the EKU College of Justice & Safety offered three online degree programs. Today, students choose from more than 20 online degree options, and online learning opportunities have expanded to include a variety of fields.

Between November 2012 and November 2013, the College of Education and the College of Health Sciencesadded several 100 percent online degree options: 

·         Master’s of Arts in Education in Instructional Leadership, Elementary Education and Special Education

·         Master’s of Science in Nursing for Family Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Administration

·         Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

·         Doctorate in Occupational Therapy

EKU Online also launched an online bachelor’s degree in Fire, Arson & Explosion Investigation – the only program of its kind in the nation – that is drawing students from across the country. A fully-online master’s degree program in public administration begins in January.

Enrollment has risen at a significant rate each year, and more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. Students appreciate the University’s learner-centered approach to online education.

"Everyone from the admissions staff to the instructors here are so enthusiastic about my education,” said Catherine Pearson, a Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies major from Columbia. “The faculty at EKU really have made the material come alive. I feel involved with EKU even though I have never stepped foot on the campus,”

EKU Online courses are developed by expert University faculty and allow students to earn a quality, accredited degree. Students enjoy many benefits designed to help them engage and succeed, including a personal adviser who creates a graduation plan that allows them to meet both their individual academic goals and their professional obligations. They have the ability to study anytime, from anywhere and to progress at an accelerated pace. Most online courses are completed in eight weeks as opposed to 16 weeks for traditional on-campus courses. For more information about EKU Online programs, visit go.eku.edu/spotlights.

EKU strives to make quality education accessible to everyone. Eastern is a fully accredited, brick-and-mortar institution celebrating more than 100 years of student success. EKU Online offers more than 20 degree options in a variety of fields, including Nursing, Education, Psychology, Paralegal Studies, Police Studies, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Occupational Safety, Fire Protection and Homeland Security.

Published on December 04, 2013