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Online colleges in Delaware are continuing to offer options for pursuing a distance-learning education. Learn which schools in the state are offering online degrees and why distance learning may work for you.

Online Colleges in Delaware

While college used to mean studying for years on a campus, advances in technology have helped make higher education more flexible and accessible for both traditional and returning students. Today, online schools in Delaware offer a variety of degree programs that can be completed without ever setting foot in a classroom.

The expansion of online education options in Delaware is part of a larger national trend. A 2013 report from The Sloan Consortium (sloanconsortium.org) found 32 percent of students - approximately 6.7 million in total - have taken at least one course online. Nationwide, more than 70 percent of public institutions offer both individual courses as well as complete degree programs online. Meanwhile, 48 percent of non-profit private schools and 72 percent of for-profit private schools offer these options. Online colleges in Delaware are no exception with many providing a range of distance learning options.

Trends in Delaware Online Schools

As part of the Southern Regional Education Board (sreb.org), a nonprofit organization working with 16 member states, Delaware residents have access to the board's Electronic Campus (electroniccampus.org). Established in 1998, the campus offers students access to more than 30,000 courses and degree programs provided by online schools in Delaware and other SREB member states. In addition, the board administers an Academic Common Market that allows students to enroll in some 1,900 graduate and undergraduate online degree programs outside their state while still paying in-state tuition rates.

The SREB also offers several Student Access Programs and Services to help students succeed in online learning. Some services, such as the Nurse Educator Consortium, cater to students entering specific industries while other initiatives such as the Distance Learning Policy Laboratory are intended to improve student outreach across many fields of study.

Online College Degrees in Delaware

Online colleges in Delaware may play an important role in preparing residents to fill jobs in the next few years. A 2010 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (cew.georgetown.edu) estimates 59 percent of all jobs in Delaware will require some postsecondary education by 2018. However, the Lumina Foundation (luminafoundation.org) reports that, as of 2010, only 37 percent of Delaware residents held at least an associate degree. The foundation indicates the state needs to increase its degree holders by 821 per year for each year until 2025 to ensure 60 percent of the population has the level of education necessary for future jobs.

Rising tuition rates in Delaware are another reason students of all ages may prefer to use online degree programs. A 2011 report from SBER reports state and local appropriations for four-year public colleges were stagnant from Fiscal Year 2008 to Fiscal Year 2010. Meanwhile, two-year public colleges received a two percent bump in their state and local funding. Likely as a result of limited public funding, tuition and fee revenues went up 24 percent for two-year schools and 20 percent for four-year schools during that same period.

While campus-based programs tend to concentrate class offerings in traditional semesters, online colleges in Delaware may offer course options that allow students to spread their classes - and the cost - over a greater length of time. Online degrees in Delaware may also allow students greater flexibility to study on a part-time rather than full-time basis.

Online Colleges in Delaware

Online degrees in Delaware are offered by several different types of institutions. Students in the state can choose from public universities, community colleges and private universities and colleges. These schools offer some of the state's most popular degree programs including an Associate in Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Masters of Business Administration. Depending on the college, online degrees in Delaware may be offered fully online or as a hybrid that adds in some traditional campus-based coursework.

Both major public institutions in Delaware, the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, offer distance-learning options. At the University of Delaware (pcs.udel.edu/udonline/), two undergraduate and four graduate degree programs are currently offered through distance learning. These include degrees in the arts, nursing and engineering. Delaware State University (desu.edu) offers online professional development courses in areas such as communication, finance and human resource management as well as degree-related classes.

However, it is not only four-year institutions that offer online degrees in Delaware. Two-year schools also provide distance-learning options. For example, Delaware County Community College (dccc.edu) currently offers more than 250 sections of online courses including classes in programs such as criminal justice, nutrition and computer science.

Regardless of whether students choose Delaware State University, the University of Delaware, a community college or one of the many private colleges and universities offering online degrees in Delaware, distance learning options in the state are helping to provide new ways for residents to get the education they need. For adults wishing to return to school, online degrees in Delaware may be an attractive option. Unlike traditional degree programs, online coursework is often flexible and can be scheduled around work and family obligations.

Sources:
Southern Regional Education Board, Academic Common Market
Distance Learning at Delaware State University
Southern Regional Education Board, Electronic Campus
Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 2008
Lumina Foundation
Online Learning at Delaware County Community College
University of Delaware Online Distance Learning
Southern Regional Education Board, Delaware Featured Facts
The Sloan Consortium, Changing Course, 2012

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