Online Learning Update

January 25, 2018

Some colleges see online programs as a way to stay afloat

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

by Patti Zarling, Education Dive

Online courses tend to better meet the needs of working adults, who now make up 40 percent of college enrollments, and many colleges are adding or expanding digital programs to attract older students. That’s especially true for schools like Riverland Community College, a public two-year school with three campuses in Austin, Albert Lee and Owatonna, all in rural southeastern Minnesota, where administrators say they can’t rely on traditional students to stay afloat. For instance, Riverland’s Austin campus serves about 3,300 students in a town of 25,000 people.“You are at the mercy of demographics,” said J.C. Turner, who directs Riverland’s new online FlexPace program. “Over time, the population shifted and the number of younger students continued to drop. To stay viable as an institution, Riverland had to look to creating online courses. Now more than half of our full-time students are in some type of online program.”

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