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Distance Education Enrollments On the Rise

May 26, 2009 By: Category: Top Stories

A report was recently published by the American Association of Community Colleges on the topic of distance education through community college institutions. The report said that enrollment rates for distance education have increased by 11.3% from fall 2006 to fall 2007 and an increase of 18 % over the previous year.

distance education

Photo by Chris Radcliff.

The study also found that students continue to look for other distance education options but aren’t finding as many as they would like. Survey responders said generally the same thing: more resources are needed for better distance learning. Audio/video streaming, tech support, online counseling and advising services, online library services and resources, online student course evaluation, student orientation, textbook sales and tutoring assistance are some of the aspects that need to be improved on.

A major issue that distance education officials might look into is graduation rates. Six years ago, about 50% of students actually finished the course. In 2006, graduation was at 72%. In 2007, the rates dropped again to 65%.

And it seems that non-traditional students (categorized by students age 26+) are not the only ones pursuing the convenience of distance education. About 52% are between the ages of 18 and 25. Not that long ago, these statistics were reversed.

Do you think this trend will continue? What is needed to improve access and the quality of online education? Leave a comment and let us know! And as always, if you are in the process of choosing an online degree, visit myUsearch to find the right program for you.