Online Colleges in Alabama
2013's Revolutionary Online Programs in Alabama
The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama's distance education program recently announced the addition of an online Master of Arts in Educational Psychology. This graduate program prepares students to understand and respond to human diversity, while studying theory and research related to learners. The M.A. in Educational Psychology degree is currently the only master's degree program in the area offering specialized training in psychological research, theory and practice.
The University of Alabama's online master's degree program in educational leadership was recently modified in order to strengthen the leadership focus of its curriculum. The new curriculum features new insights into the fundamentals of educational leadership, as well as new courses in human resources development and ethics. The program is available to experienced teachers with at least three years of teaching experience who are looking to transition into an administrative role.
The University of Alabama's online learning initiative, "Distance by Bama," also offers in-demand bachelor's and master's degree programs in arts and sciences, commerce and business administration, communication, engineering, human environmental sciences, law, social work, and nursing.
Columbia Southern University
Columbia Southern University recently announced a new bachelor's degree program in fire administration. The new program, which will open for enrollment in late 2013, is aimed at students who want to learn new skills and transition into a supervisory role in the fire industry. Formerly offered as a bachelor of science in fire science program, the new degree program features new requirements and electives that were created to round out each student's educational experience. The new program is also recognized by Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE), whose mission is to strengthen the fire and emergency services professions by creating professional standards for two- and four-year academic fire and emergency medical services (EMS) degree programs.
Columbia Southern University also launched a new online Master of Public Administration degree program designed for individuals seeking career advancement in public or government agencies. Students choosing this degree program can choose to specialize in criminal justice administration or emergency services management. The program is geared toward those already working in public administration, and its online curriculum focuses on public administration ethics, organizational theory, and public policy.
Advantages of Alabama (AL) Online Colleges
Online colleges in Alabama can present several significant advantages to students pursing postsecondary education. First, most online degree programs allow students to access lectures and class materials at any time. This means working adults or parents can complete coursework at their convenience, balancing education with career and family obligations. Additionally, many Alabamians live in rural areas, far from local college campuses. Distance learning allows these individuals, as well as those residing overseas, to work towards a degree from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Thanks to developments in virtual learning, students in Alabama may now have the opportunity to work with teachers and peers from around the globe and across the professional landscape. Online education can also introduce students to emerging technologies, such as video conferencing, that have become vital to the business world. For example, Alabama State University conducts virtual instruction through two-way audio, direct text messaging, and shared, interactive whiteboards.
Employment Opportunities in Alabama
In a 2010 report titled "Alabama's Hot 40", the Alabama Department of Labor lists the 40 most in-demand occupations in the state based on projected growth, average annual openings, and salary. Of these careers, 33 require a postsecondary degree or certification. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (census.gov, 2011), less than one-third of Alabama citizens 25 and older have an associate or higher.
Online schools may offer students in Alabama more access to the higher education they need to succeed in today's workforce. Students can find a selection of virtual courses and programs at colleges in state, including institutions like the University of Alabama and Jacksonville State. According to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the top-four areas of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2010-2011 were accounting, elementary education, nursing, and business administration. Today, schools in Alabama offer online degrees in all these fields, suggesting that online education has become a viable alternative to traditional campus-based college.
Possible Careers for Online College Graduates in Alabama
Online universities in Alabama can help teach you the skills and knowledge you need in order to prepare for one of the many growing and profitable careers that exist in the state.
Below are some fast growing careers according to the BLS 2012 statistics and Alabama Department of Labor.
|Occupation||Avg Annual Growth Percent||Median Hourly Wage||Related Online College Programs|
|Healthcare Support||2.11%||$10.65||Online Colleges for Healthcare|
|Computer & Math Occupations||2.03%||$33.13||Online Colleges for Computer Programming|
|Veterinary Technologist & Technicians||47.5%||$12.38||Online Veterinary Technician Programs|
Below are a few high paying careers in Alabama, according to bls.gov:
|Occupation||Employment RSE||Median Hourly Wage||Related Online College Programs|
|Natural Science Managers||12.2%||$49.30|
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Alabama
While many colleges, like Alabama State, offer primarily individual courses at this time, an increasing number have begun featuring fully online degree programs. The University of Alabama (UA) system boasts an extensive list of distance education options, including both undergraduate and graduate programs delivered entirely online. Through interactive video conferencing and remote exam proctoring, UA administers bachelor's and master's programs in nursing and as well as a master's in Aerospace Engineering. Troy University offers programs at the associate through master's levels, including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Master of Science in Elementary Education. Meanwhile, Jacksonville State University features primarily graduate degrees, most notably a Master of Science in Computer Systems and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
The Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus contains a database of online education offered by schools throughout the South. Students can search for courses or degrees by subject, program level, or institution. The site encompasses 15 schools in Alabama that, as of December 2012, offer 175 degrees online. The number of programs at each level is as follows:
- Online Associate Degrees: 14
- Online Bachelor's Degrees: 54
- Online Master's Degrees: 88
- Online Doctoral Degrees: 9
- In addition, many national online schools offer degree programs to students in Alabama. These colleges typically feature a broader range of degree concentrations than their brick-and-mortar peers. Some, such as ITT Technical Institute and University of Phoenix, also have physical locations in Alabama where students can supplement their online learning with on-campus sessions.
From vocational certificates to doctorates, online colleges in Alabama offer a wide range of postsecondary education options. Prospective students should research available programs to find one that best fits their personal and academic goals.
How to Find Online Colleges in Alabama that Can Meet Your Needs
Program requirements differ according to school, concentration, and degree level. For more information about online programs or the application process, students should contact an admission advisor from a participating school. Most national online colleges have streamlined enrollment forms and counselors available to answer questions immediately over text chat. To take the next step, request information from one of the schools below.
Alabama Educational Attainment, 2011 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau
Alabama State University
Bama by Distance, The University of Alabama
Jacksonville State University