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Coppin State Tries Online Bachelor Degree To Improve Retention

Coppin State University, pushing to increase its graduation rate above 20 percent, has entered into a partnership with Pearson Education to launch an online bachelor's degree--a first for the Baltimore university. The public institution, which has about 3,875 students, will launch the new program in September 2012. Pearson will provide almost 50 online courses, as well as customizable digital textbooks, on-demand tutoring, and other services.

The college, which is one of 105 historically black colleges and universities in the United States, has been struggling in recent years to improve its student retention rate. According to coverage in The Baltimore Sun, the university's six-year graduation rate has hovered below 20 percent for several years.

The school is hoping that the new online program will lend more flexibility to students in how they complete their studies. In a recent survey, nearly nine out of 10 students at Coppin said they'd enroll in an online course. "Many of our students come from diverse ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds," said Ronnie Collins, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. "This online program will provide students with more options to complete their degrees and move on to successful careers."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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