Online Colleges in Michigan
According to a 2011 list compiled by the Department of Technology, Management & Budget, about 75 percent of "Michigan's Hot 50 Jobs," based on salary and demand projections through 2018, require an associate degree or higher. Unfortunately, the state's college attainment is currently lacking. The Lumina Foundation reports that in 2018, 62 percent of jobs in Michigan will require a postsecondary degree, but as of 2010, only 36 percent of working-age adults had acquired one. If Michigan and its workforce hope to make the most of future economic opportunities, they must develop new higher education strategies.
State-sponsored programs like the Michigan Shifting Gears and the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) initiatives may help provide Michigan workers with the training they need to compete in the state's evolving workforce, but they are not the only solution. The rise of online education across the country could give more Michigan residents more access to college education opportunities. Fortunately, several of the state's most prominent schools, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, have already begun offering a range of online courses and degree programs. From certificate programs to graduate degrees, online colleges in Michigan now boast a wealth of options for prospective students.
Advantages of Online Education for Students in Michigan
Online schools in Michigan can offer both recent high school graduates and seasoned professionals a number of benefits over traditional, classroom-based programs. For example, most online programs allow students to complete course material at their own pace, allowing them to balance their education with work or family obligations. Even hands-on disciplines, like nursing or automotive engineering, can often be pursued through hybrid programs that combine online instruction with classroom or lab sessions.
Additionally, online colleges typically provide students with a level of accessibility that traditional programs cannot match. Students are able to attend class from anywhere with Internet access, which is particularly helpful for those who travel often, live in isolated regions, or have mobility issues. It may also be beneficial for students whose local campuses do not offer their desired degree program.
Finally, students enrolled in an online degree program can gain valuable experience with Web 2.0 communication tools and other virtual technologies during their studies. Message boards, video conferencing and other interactive mediums are all commonly utilized by online colleges to connect peers and instructors. Depending on the area of study, having an increased comfort level with these tools may help set applicants apart in the job market.
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Michigan
A growing number of public and private schools in Michigan now offer online education options. Perhaps the largest and best-known institution to do so is the University of Michigan. Online graduate programs offered through the College of Engineering at the main Ann Arbor campus were ranked fifth best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2013. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan's regional campuses in Dearborn and Flint feature a variety of fully-online and blended (part online, part on-campus) degree programs -- from a bachelor's in business administration to a master's in software engineering.
As of February 2013, the University of Michigan also offered seven classes through Coursera, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) provider that allows students across the globe to take college courses online, often at no cost. By participating in MOOCs, the university hasn't just shown a passing interest in online education, it has helped it evolve.
Other institutions that offer online degrees in Michigan include Western Michigan University, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University Online. Programs vary by institution, but each of these feature both degrees and certificate programs online, as well as a number of services designed to support online learners.
In additional to these schools, many national online colleges offer programs to students in Michigan. Some, such as Everest University, South University and DeVry University even have physical campuses in the state, which may allow students to participate in blended programs. This could be an attractive option for students who enjoy learning in a classroom environment but also want to benefit from the convenience of online lectures and coursework.
Entry Requirements and Application Process for Michigan Online Colleges
Like traditional campus-based programs, online colleges in Michigan each have their own admissions and application requirements. Prospective students should contact a school representative to learn more about specific online offerings. For details, or to speak with an admissions counselor, request information from one of the schools listed below.
"Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs," U.S. News and World Report, 2013
Central Michigan University Online
Lumina Foundation, Michigan
Michigan Advanced Technician Training Program
"Michigan's Hot 50 Jobs," Labor Market Information, Department of Technology, Management & Budget, November 2011
Michigan Shifting Gears
Michigan State University
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
University of Michigan, Dearborn
University of Michigan, Flint
Western Michigan University
View Online College Courses in Michigan Below
This list also contains online colleges that accept students from Michigan.
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