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George Washington U Aims To Improve Enrollment with Distance Ed

George Washington University graduate school enrollment in online programs has increased by more than 1,000 over the last five years. Administrators at the 25,000-student Washington, DC, school said they see its online programs as a way to offset overall declines in its graduate programs.

This past year saw a net growth of 265 students in online graduate programs — mostly in the School of Nursing and the Milken Institute School of Public Health — down, however, from the peak year of 2011 when 535 additional students enrolled in the university's graduate programs.

All of George Washington's nursing programs are offered online and the public health school launched its second online public health degree program this past fall.
The fastest-growing online programs at George Washington University are in nursing and public health.

The two schools worked with third-party companies to create and market the online graduate programs, but the university recently launched an in-house course design department to both save money and boost the its digital course offerings.

Paul Schiff Berman, vice president for online education and academic innovation, said five new online programs would be offered within the next year and 15 more are in the works.

The George Washington College of Professional Studies, which offers nine online programs and three hybrid degrees, has seen a 27-percent increase in online enrollment over the last five years, this year signing up 635 new students.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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