Online Schools in Kansas
Many of the colleges and universities in Kansas have been offering distance education programs for decades and were early adopters of online education. Today the trend has spread across the state. The Kansas State Board of Education even provides students with quizzes for gauging whether or not online education is for them, and has a complete list of virtual programs and tips for those students enrolled in online schools or just getting started. (ksde.org)
Trends in Kansas Online Schools
Even with the number of online schools in Kansas, some underserved, rural areas still exist that are now in the process of getting much-needed upgrades. Initiatives such as Technology Assistance for Kansas Educators (TAKE), a branch of the Kansas State Department of Education and an education technology resource, and Project Connect, which is aimed at connecting Kansas schools virtually, are helping to spread high-speed Internet access, computer literacy and updated technology across the state (ksde.org).
In addition to offering online degrees in Kansas, the state's colleges and universities are demonstrating a commitment to and interest in online learning and education technology. The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning is taking a look at online education for its potential use with students with disabilities (news.ku.edu). Southwestern University provides students with free laptops to connect to their school wireless network, accessible campus-wide (colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com). Baker University offers online programs from its rurally based campus, earning national recognition for some of its programs. These are just a few examples of the dedication Kansas schools are showing to online education.
College Degrees in Kansas
The unemployment rate in Kansas is 5.7 percent, which is two full percentage points below the national average. The top industries in the state, employment-wise, are government & trade and transportation & utilities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Education and health services jobs follow, with manufacturing and professional and business services rounding out the list of the top industries in Kansas (bls.gov). Those with college degrees in Kansas may have a competitive edge in some of these growing markets. Online colleges in Kansas offer those interested in pursuing a college degree for whom attendance at a campus-based college is not a feasible option.
Online College in Kansas
Many of Kansas' signature brick-and-mortar colleges and universities offer online education. Some of the more well-known campus-based providers of online degrees in Kansas include the following:
- Baker University (bakeru.edu): A private, rural university with an enrollment of less than 1,000, Baker University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top fifty colleges in the Midwest. Baker University offers a wide selection of online classes and degree programs, both undergraduate and graduate. Baker University's online bachelor's degree and online business programs have received top rankings from U.S. News & World Report (colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com).
- Kansas State University (colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com): This university has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's top universities and by Princeton Review as one of the greenest. Located in the college town of Manhattan, Kansas State University is near Fort Riley. The school offers a wide selection of online and distance learning programs going all the way up to the Ph.D. level.
- Southwestern College (colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com): This private university has been offering online classes since 2001 from its rurally located campus in Winfield, Kansas. Southwestern College, a fully wireless campus, is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as both a top Midwestern college and a top online college.
There are quite a few national online schools in Kansas as well. Students interested in pursing a college degree online should research the many options available before making a decision that aligns with their lifestyle and education goals.