Online Colleges in Arizona
According to the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (icw.uschamber.com, 2012), bachelor's degree holders in Arizona earn a median wage that's roughly 67 percent higher than that of just a high school graduate. In their 2012 report "Leaders & Laggards,” the ICW estimates that even an associate degree holder can expect to earn around 33 percent more than someone with only a high school diploma. Unemployment among degree holders is less than among high school graduates as well.
In addition to possibly paying higher wages, jobs requiring postsecondary education are quickly becoming more widespread. By 2018, the Lumina Foundation (luminafoundation.org, 2012) predicts that about 61 percent of Arizona's jobs will require a college degree. However, only about 37 percent of adult workers are expected to hold a college credential by that time, leaving a large gap between available jobs and qualified workers.
Arizona's economic future and the ability to compete nationally depend on producing more college graduates. As such, in September 2010, the Arizona Board of Regents developed and unveiled the Arizona Higher Education Enterprise Plan (AHEE), with the goal of increasing college completion rates by 2020. The AHEE outlined reforms in how the educational system is financed and delivered, including the implementation of more online programs.
Advantages of Online Education for Students in Arizona
The benefits of pursuing higher education online include the convenience of being able to do class work at any time and in any place. This is especially beneficial for people with unpredictable schedules and/or other commitments, like work and family. Coursework is often self-paced, and may even allow students to work ahead if they desire.
With online education, students can be located far from campus, even out of the country. There's no need to commute, find a parking space on campus, live in the dorms or sit in a classroom—all of which can help eliminate or reduce travel and living expenses. The freedom to pursue an education from anywhere with an Internet connection is also beneficial to those stationed overseas or traveling frequently for work.
There are also several unique skills students may be able to gain from online degrees in Arizona that could translate well to the workplace, such as increased self-discipline and technology skills. For example, a student might learn the skills needed to create digital presentations or effectively engage in Internet discussion groups, which could be assets in today's corporate world.
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Arizona
Arizona offers many online programs through some of its bigger public universities, as well as many smaller community colleges. Arizona's three public universities—Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU) and The University of Arizona (UA)—all place a heavy emphasis on online education. For example, ASU alone offers 29 undergraduate and 30 graduate degree programs online. NAU provides purely online degrees along with hybrid degrees, which combine virtual coursework with on-campus sessions. Through its Outreach College, UA also offers university courses and degree programs completely online.
Of its numerous online offerings, ASU's most popular bachelor's degrees include business/communication, engineering management, health science, nursing (RN to BSN) and psychology. Its graduate offerings include master's degrees in a handful of engineering and education fields, as well as criminal justice, information management and business administration. In addition, students who take online courses are able to access all of ASU's library resources.
Online bachelor's degrees obtainable through Northern Arizona University encompass eight health sciences areas and four interdisciplinary studies fields, along with nursing, dental hygiene, comparative cultural studies, and parks and recreation management. Its 18 online master's degrees include English, math, nursing, administration and educational technology.
Numerous online classes are available as well through Arizona's community colleges. Mesa Community College, via its eLearning portal, offers 500 distance learning courses. Rio Salado College, which focuses on workforce-readiness education, provides numerous online academic certificates and degrees, in everything from accounting to Web design.
Students may also pursue online degrees through national online colleges, which typically offer a broader range of programs than traditional state schools. Some, such as the University of Phoenix, even have physical campuses in Arizona where students can attend class as well.
Entry Requirements and Application Process for Arizona Online Colleges
While the application process varies from school to school, generally it involves filling out and submitting an application, paying a fee and providing academic transcripts. For qualifications, information or assistance, it's best to contact an admissions counselor at the school of interest. Many national online colleges have advisors available to answer questions immediately online. Prospective students can request information from one of the schools below for further details.
Arizona Board of Regents
Arizona State University
The Institute for a Competitive Workforce
Mesa Community College
Northern Arizona University
Rio Salado College
University of Arizona
Online Schools in Arizona
This list also contains online colleges that accept students from Arizona.
For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education.
At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.
Online. Accelerated. Affordable. Accredited.
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.
Make a difference with a graduate degree from DeVry University's Keller Graduate School of Management.
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
Manage your career and your life while earning your degree online.