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Recent changes by the American Bar Association will allow Eastern Kentucky University's paralegal students to complete their degree completely online with no required campus visits.

Originally, the ABA guidelines required paralegal students to complete 10 hours of face-to-face instruction in the form of a two-week on-campus residency. Under the new plan, EKU’s online paralegal students will be able to complete coursework 100-percent online with nine semester credit hours of legal specialty coursework provided through synchronous online instruction. 

Prior to graduation, students will participate in real-time virtual classroom activities with their peers and EKU professors. The new format will significantly reduce the number of days students are away from their jobs and families. It will also save students the expense of lost wages, childcare, transportation and accommodations.

“We introduced our online program to give working adults a more convenient way to earn the degree that could help them build or change their career paths. By redefining the requirements for accredited online programs, the ABA demonstrates that they recognize quality online instruction and share our commitment to giving students a more flexible way to meet their goals,” said Lynnette Noblitt, chair and professor in the EKU Department of Government. She is the faculty coordinator for the online paralegal program. 

The new format applies to students who enroll after January 1, 2020.

The EKU Online paralegal degree was introduced in 2012. Graduates are prepared to take on important legal roles across a variety of industries and are eligible to sit for the certified paralegal exam. Students can earn an associate degree in paralegal studies, or study paralegal science and earn a bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate.

EKU is a respected charter member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAFPE). Every instructor holds a juris doctorate (J.D.) or Ph.D. Online programs include personalized advising support and free online tutoring. The department also provides job placement assistance to those who successfully complete their program. Within six months of graduation, 90 percent of graduates are employed, attending graduate school or enrolled in law school.

Consistently recognized as having some of the nation’s best online degree programs, EKU strives to make quality education accessible to everyone. EKU is an accredited, brick-and-mortar institution celebrating more than 100 years of student success. EKU Online offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree options in a variety of fields, representing Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Justice and Safety, and Health Sciences. 

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