Growth in Online Learning

Proprietary and two-year institutions play an increasingly important role in addressing some of our country’s most pressing challenges – global workforce competition and an increased demand for a highly skilled labor force, to name a few.  The growth in enrollments at proprietary and two-year institutions has soared in recent years. This dramatic increase has produced its own unique set of challenges, including higher student loan default rates.

Distance learning is creating a new trend in the way college students attend classes and earn their degrees because of the flexibility, convenience, and growing acceptance of online courses.  Besides the advantages for students, institutions use distance learning to address State budget cuts and space shortages.  During 2006-2007, there were more than 11,200 college-level programs designed to be completed exclusively online.  Sixty-six percent of these programs offered degrees and 34 percent offered certificates.  more recent data shows that in 2009, nearly 30 percent of students took at least one online course, nearly three times the percentage in 2002.