Get Out of the Classroom and Go Online Metro Atlanta's Online Learning Opportunities Deliver
An overwhelming number of Americans consider themselves avid learners looking for opportunities to expand their knowledge. According to Pew Research, 73 percent of adults are lifelong learners, and 63 percent are professional learners who have sought additional training over the past 12 months to improve their job skills for career advancement. However, there is a stumbling block for some. Obtaining a professional certificate, undergraduate degree or master’s degree traditionally requires a costly time commitment that takes ambitious students and professionals away from commitments, work and family.
Fortunately, the drive for flexibility in education has created a rapid expansion in online learning opportunities. Metro Atlanta is already a powerhouse for higher education with more than 1,800 distinct programs of study at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and professional levels and more than 250,000 students enrolled each year, as reported by the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education. And many local universities have added online learning options to their suite of offerings. Here’s a look at some metro area e-learning programs that combine a passion for learning with increased flexibility.
Valdosta State University
Getting through those core classes for a degree is a huge commitment, but Valdosta State University (VSU) offers a SmartPath Core program to help reduce the time. Instead of working through core programs over a traditional university path, the program helps students complete core coursework online for a bachelor’s degree in a non-science major in as little as three semesters. The program has been praised for its convenience and quality, with Accredited Schools Online ranking Valdosta State University for its “Exceptional Online Education in Georgia.”
VSU currently offers more tan 40 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, endorsements, certificates and minors that can all be completed online. Some of the university’s online programs include a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and religious studies, as well as a bachelor’s degree with a major in criminal justice or legal assistant studies, as well as a Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology or organizational leadership, among others.
Valdosta State University also caters to higher education students looking for master’s programs they can tackle online. Their offerings include a Master of Education and a Georgia WebMBA, among several others, so students can advance their careers without sacrificing time navigating a traditional campus schedule.
Life University has meticulously built a reputation for excellence around its chiropractic programs, including a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, but it now offers much of the same recognized curriculum online as it does at its Marietta campus. Students can choose from a variety of online degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Pre Doctor of Chiropractic path, an Associate of Science in Health and Wellness and a Master of Science in Positive Psychology, with plans to add new programs.
Life University’s Master of Science in Positive Psychology program is an innovative program that teaches students to emphasize their innate capacity for love, courage, forgiveness, wisdom and interpersonal connection to develop health- and mind-conscious practitioners. The program features three concentrations: General, Coaching Psychology and Secular Ethics and Contemplate Science; the Coaching Psychology and General concentrations offer online classes while the Secular Ethics and Contemplative Science concentration is currently only offered on the Life University campus.
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Aspiring creatives with an eye for design and art can take advantage of Savannah College of Art and Design‘s (SCAD) online learning programs for a collaborative online environment to “connect to degree programs without disconnecting from their personal lives.” Students dive into online learning over a 10-week schedule to take their skills to the next level with the flexibility of working anywhere with a computer and Internet connection. Degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Graphic Design, Master of Fine Arts degrees in Animation, Fashion and Motion Media Design and numerous other undergrad and higher learning programs.
Collaboration and feedback is integral to the creative learning process, and Scad’s eLearning program offers plenty of opportunity to connect and reflect. Students complete their coursework by designated due dates and regularly participate in online class sessions to critique and discuss work via discussion boards.
Not all online learning is focused exclusively on college students. Designed with ambitious high school students in mind, Troy University offers a unique ACCELERATE program that allows for dual enrollment online to fulfill high school and undergraduate requirements at the same time. Undergrad students can also tap into Troy University’s numerous online degrees, with options from Applied Computer Science to Sport Management, Hospitality Management and Tourism Management. A unique RN to BSN nursing program also helps registered nurses with an associate degree advanced their careers with an online learning opportunity to complete a bachelors degree through a flexible schedule.
Those looking for master’s degree opportunities with flexible online options can also enroll in Troy University’s MBA in General Management or MPA in Public Administration programs, among dozens of other options. But regardless of the program, students are given access to interactive tools with the chance to participate in online discussions, take online assessments and collaborate on coursework.
Kennesaw State University
Locals searching to advance their careers with everything from non-degree classes to certification programs need flexible options to learn on their own time. Kennesaw State University (KSU) offers hundreds of online programs to help advance careers or enrich lives with classes ranging from learning a new language to starting a business to earning a real estate license.
For students looking for professional certifications, Kennesaw also offers a variety of online learning programs in areas like paralegal study, pharmacy tech and CompTIA Cloud+ Certification Training. Lourdes Arevalo, public relations specialist from the College of Continuing and Professional Education, says, “Our students find the convenience of an online class invaluable. These online learning options do not require students to be online at any specific time and give students the opportunity to fit it into their lives and busy schedules.”