Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Regional Colleges Hope To Lure Students Getting A Degree Online

From the Pacific Northwest to the coast of New England, lesser known institutions of higher learning have suddenly achieved a level of financial stability they'd thought impossible just years before, and their salvation couldn't have come from a less likely source. Faced with spiraling costs of operation and a new breed of competitors emerging via online Associate's degree and online Bachelor's degree providers, a select group of visionary administrators embraced the possibilities of digitized remote instruction to resolve their own schools' long standing budgetary difficulties. Though treated as an afterthought by local media sources, these colleges and universities many of whom have struggled for decades to keep their doors open despite limited endowment dollars and an essentially nonexistent presence outside shrinking communities have managed to forge a second life by means of the internet.
For all the potential bounty of remote pupils to be reckoned with, the administrators of these institutions attempting to reshape their appeal must acknowledge that only a brief window of time separates current opportunities from the eventual flood of larger institutions angling for their share. As the time honored standard bearers of classical academic instruction increasingly turn away from campus based educational programs to construct distinct virtual tutorials that meet the spiraling demand for students getting a degree online, professional ad campaigns highlighting the benefits of significantly more practiced educational resources will overwhelm the prospects. Even beyond the increased competition from public and private institutions coasting upon previously established reputations (for centuries in some cases), the relatively recent arrival of such brands as Kaplan and the University of Phoenix have already begun carving out distinct identities and building a sense of trust among an ever broadening potential consumer base.
Competing against the emblems of corporate stability and approachable technological development on the one hand and the monumental sentiment wielded by the pillars of higher learning (college athletic teams as crucial a signifier of American locale as any to be imagined) on the other, regional schools late in coming to the cyber studies party would appear to have an enormous challenge ahead, but the smaller, more dynamic variants all too well accustomed to rolling with the punches have advantages all their own. Authorities within the United States Department of Education have officially designated the so called hybrid programs that incorporate aspects of the wholly online Bachelor's degree alongside components of the classroom model to be the most effective tutorial, and smaller regional schools are simply best equipped to meet the differing capacities needed.
The e-learning giants that have grown up around distant education aren't bound to publicize the aforementioned findings. If these studies are mentioned at all, the Secretary of Education's report will usually be paraphrased to suggest graduates of either format possess essentially equivalent levels of knowledge. While technically accurate, that's still far from the government's point, but the hybrid approach isn't so easily introduced. The new titans of online Bachelor's degree prowess can't just go ahead and build brick and mortar centers to test the varying pedagogical imperatives. For that matter, even if their current financial largesse would cover the purchase of campuses abandoned by failed schools throughout the country, the virtual institutions have affirmed the supremacy of purely remote tutorials for so long that their corporate image would suffer tremendously from a shift in emphasis among an American public already prone to doubt the validity of getting a degree online.

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