News 12 This Morning / Monday, June 25, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Imagine not having to get up early for morning classes or driving to school. Instead, students taking the online degree program at Augusta State University will be able to sign in and start working from the comfort of their own home, as long as they have a computer and Internet access.
Alysha Kreir is on a tight schedule juggling a job and classes. She is finishing up her master's in elementary education, and you can always find her on campus late in the day.
"Most of the courses are offered at night, so that's the only option I have," Kreir said.
A few of her online classes have helped ease the load.
"I've already utilized the option of online classes, and it's worked out great," Kreir said.
Come this fall, students at ASU will have access the the university's first complete online degree program offered for students getting a masters in Education Leadership. It's a degree you can earn 100 percent online without ever stepping foot inside a classroom.
"The students coming to us now are growing up in a very different time and interaction with technology, self-engagement with media is a part of who they are," said Wayne Lord, the department chair of Education Leadership.
The 12-month program is taught by the same professors who teach them on campus.
"The reality is the world is changing in terms of higher education," Lord said.
With more students signing on for courses online, ASU has more plans to convert other traditional degree programs to an online format, but first they'll have to monitor the success of the Education Leadership degree earned online.
"We are anticipating the outreach of this program will be national, international," Lord said.
A classroom with no boundaries, but for some students like Kreir it can still have its limitations for some programs.
"I think with teaching, personal interaction are important. If it was all offered online, we wouldn't get a feel of how a person would be as an actual teacher," she said.
If students are looking for flexibility and convenience, this could be their answer.
The deadline to enroll for the fall semester is July 2. The tuition for this program will be more than regular tuition, according to Lord, but students can expect a pass on a few school fees, since they will not be on campus.
There are rigorous standards in place for the program. ASU's program went through several reviews before earning accreditation.