Online Colleges in Maryland
Home to John Hopkins University, one of the oldest research universities in the nation, Maryland has long been a leader in postsecondary education. During the first statewide forum on college completion in January 2013, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley called for "new ways to use the Internet, online learning and course redesign" in order to reach the statewide goal of 55 percent of adults holding a college degree or advanced credential by 2025. As of 2011, the Lumina Foundation (luminafoundation.org) estimates that only about 45 percent of the state's working age citizens hold at least a two-year degree.
According to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (dllr.state.md.us, 2012), industries in the state with the highest expected growth rate from 2010 to 2020 include health care and social assistance, transportation and warehousing, and professional, technical and scientific services. Some of the biggest employers in the state include healthcare companies like University of Maryland Medical System, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Helix Health System, and aerospace contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation. Many entry-level and advanced positions in these growing companies require a college degree—and thanks to the rise of online education, more Maryland residents now have the opportunity to earn one.
Advantages of Online Education for Students in Maryland
For Maryland residents interested in higher education, there are several advantages to pursuing an online program. Online learning allows working professionals and busy parents to pursue a degree without sacrificing their work or family commitments. Additionally, those who have difficulty learning in a traditional classroom may find success with online courses. Students with limited mobility or those who live far from a campus might find traditional education impossible; for those individuals, online learning could be an excellent alternative.
Individuals who have already earned a degree and moved into the workforce might find it difficult to juggle brick-and-mortar class sessions with their already packed schedule. Online education allows these students to gain additional training, or earn a graduate degree, at night or on the weekends. Full-time college students who are already attending traditional classes can benefit from a hybrid learning approach, blending classroom experience with courses that are taken partially online.
Online colleges in Maryland can also give students valuable experience with various technologies that may help them in the professional world. Many online programs utilize Web-based message boards, video conferencing and live chat, all of which are becoming increasingly popular among businesses and industries with a global presence.
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Maryland
There are numerous online degrees available in Maryland from both public and private schools. MarylandOnline is a consortium of universities and community colleges from across the state that’s committed to offering online opportunities for Maryland students. The site offers resources for both educators and students, including information on transfer credits, financial aid, online tutoring, library services and more.
Some of the largest institutions in the state now offer online learning options. The University of Baltimore (UB) currently features three degrees that can be earned entirely online: the bachelor's of business administration, master's of public administration, and a joint MBA program between UB and Towson University. The University of Maryland offers several degrees that can be earned entirely online, most notably its RN to BSN nursing degree and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Similarly, Johns Hopkins University, a well-known provider of higher education and research, features both online and hybrid programs, including master's degrees through the Whiting School of Engineering.
Another online-focused school, the University of Maryland University College was the first university in the U.S. to offer online degree programs, according to its official website. Today, it boasts more than 28 bachelor's degree programs entirely online in fields like humanities, accounting, criminal justice, and human resources. It also offers a number of graduate programs completely online or in a hybrid format.
Many national online colleges also offer degree programs to students in Maryland. In addition to the wide variety of degrees and courses available through these schools, some, such as University of Phoenix, have physical campuses in state, allowing students to pursue hybrid programs if they so desire.
Entry Requirements and Application Process for Maryland Online Colleges
Maryland students interested in an online degree should first research available schools and programs. Since each college has different requirements for entry or transfer credits, it is important to speak with an admissions counselor during the application process. Most national online schools have advisors available to answer questions immediately via live chat. To learn more about available programs, or speak with an admissions counselor, request information from one of the colleges listed below.
"O'Malley calls on colleges to use technology to boost graduation rates," The Baltimore Sun, Julie Sharper, Jan. 8, 2013, http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-01-08/news/bs-md-college-graduation-rates-20130108_1_graduation-rates-higher-education-martin-o-malley
Johns Hopkins University Online Programs, http://advanced.jhu.edu/academics/online-programs/
Maryland, Lumina Foundation, 2013, http://www.luminafoundation.org/stronger_nation/report/#maryland
Maryland Industry Projections: 2010-2020, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, 2012, http://www.dllr.state.md.us/lmi/iandoproj/industry.shtml
Distance Education. Higher Education Commission, http://www.mhec.state.md.us/highered/distance/index.asp
Online Learning, University of Baltimore, http://www.ubalt.edu/academics/online-programs.cfm
Online Education, University of Maryland School of Nursing, http://nursing.umaryland.edu/academic-programs/online-education
Online Degree and Certificate Programs, University of Maryland University College, http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/index.cfm
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