Anchor Lead: Kent State University announced it has its highest retention rate ever. More and more students are coming to Kent State…but you won’t see all of them in the classroom. TV2’s Paige Katrinchak reports…you don’t have to sit in a classroom to learn.
Paige: Online enrollment is rising at Kent State University. More than 16,000 students are registered for online classes this fall. And as of right now there are about 700 unique online programs offered each semester.
The 8.9 percent increase in students online can be attributed to the flexibility this type of class offers. Valerie Kelly, the Director of Online Learning, says that online classes gives students more choices and doesn’t limit them to what they can fit in their schedules. Kelly believes that online classes just fit better into some students’ busy lives.
Valerie: A lot of us have to work when we go to school. And we need the availability of the classes when we need them. So having them online makes them more available. I think that’s just a very practical thing, but I think that’s part of it.
Paige: Kent State offers full online degree completion programs for certain undergraduate and graduate programs. Kelly says these programs are what attract many non-traditional students to Kent.
Online growth is also continuing due to the rise of the hybrid classroom. This allows part of a class to be taught face-to-face and for the rest of it to be online. Kelly says this is just the beginning of new advancements to come.
Valerie: We’re right on the cusp of some really amazing things you can do online. From self-paced analytics to really interactive things you can do between teacher and student.
Paige: Kelly also says that in the future they will look to refine and redesign the online classes in order to keep students interested in online courses. Over the next few years, Kent State is planning to launch nine new undergraduate online programs.
For broadcast beat reporting, I’m Paige Katrinchak.