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U Cincinnati Sees Online Enrollment Increasing as Programs Proliferate

The University of Cincinnati is projecting a 6.8 percent increase in online enrollments for this semester compared with fall 2008, an increase that's expected to account for half of the university's overall enrollment growth for 2009-2010. The university is also expanding online options to help further meet the needs of distance education students.

According to information released recently by the university, U Cincinnati has experienced a compound annual growth rate of about 19.87 percent over the last five years. In 2004, fall enrollments were at 1,213 students; in 2009, that number is expected to reach 3,002. (Final numbers will be posted next month.)

The bulk of these students can be found in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH), according to the university. More than 1,700 students are enrolled in CECH's online programs, and U Cincinnati is expanding its efforts to address their needs with two new programs: a master’s degree program in curriculum and instruction and a new track to an online associate degree program for Head Start teachers.

“Distance learning at UC is a fundamental part of UC’s 21st century approach to increasing access to high-quality educational programs, meeting the needs of students and integrating 21st century technology into higher education,” said Anthony J. Perzigian, U Cincinnati senior vice president and provost, in a statement released last week. “Our new distance-learning additions this fall build on UC’s commitment to providing flexibility for student learning.”

All told, the university has increased its distance learning degree programs to 23; five years ago, that number was just nine. These include 15 master's degree programs, six baccalaureate programs, and two associate degree programs. Nine of the university's colleges offer some sort of online program, and five offer online degree programs.

U Cincinnati's College of Nursing is also expanding its online programs. It's offering five specialized master degree tracks this semester. The expansion, according to the university, brings the total number of online graduate CAHS programs to eight. New programs include nurse service administration, family nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, psychiatric clinical nurse specialist, and psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Significantly, 78.6 percent of U Cincinnati's distance learning population is female, and 83 percent of its distance education students attend school part-time.

“Distance learning provides an opportunity for nurses to advance in the profession while working their full-time jobs and their rotating schedules,” said Lou Ann Emerson, senior associate dean of the College of Nursing. “Furthermore, in a female dominated profession, distance learning brings opportunity to our students who are pursuing their education around the responsibilities of their jobs and their families.”

Further information about the University of Cincinnati's online programs can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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