Online Colleges in Oklahoma
2013's Revolutionary Online Programs in Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma offered its first ever massive open online course (MOOC) during its Summer 2013 session. The "Introduction to Management" course was offered through the OU's Price School of Business. Professor Jeremy Short, the Rath Chair in Strategic Management, created the course, in which over 1,500 students from around the world enrolled. In addition to presenting the online lectures, Short also penned both the traditional principles of management textbook and the graphic novel used in the class. Use of the novel was intended to help the students increase their recall memory of the material. The novel follows the life and times of Atlas Black. Students explored Black's struggles as he worked to pay for college, attempted to start a new business, and lived his life as a novice entrepreneur.
Throughout these life stories, the novel has incorporated the key concepts from the principles in management text. Some of those concepts include the management of careers and individuals, as well as organizational situations. Strategic decision-making and management of other key workplace relationships were also covered. While the course emphasized unique organizations in Oklahoma, it was made available for free to learners throughout the world. However, it was not available to these students for credit. Students who were registered at the University of Oklahoma were allowed to take the same course for college credit.
The University of Oklahoma is reporting that its spring enrollment in the OU Outreach program is up compared to enrollment in the Spring 2012. Enrollment in the OU outreach liberal studies programs increased by 4.7 percent, while the OU outreach academic programs enrollment increased by 57.3 percent. Enrollment in the advanced studies programs was down by 1.2 percent when compared to enrollment from the previous year. The OU outreach program is nationally recognized and reaches over 200,000 non-traditional students annually. The university offers credit and non-credit programs through courses held online as well as on-campus, using over 30 different formats and 3,000 available courses to meet the needs of non-traditional students.
Rogers State University
Dr. Frank Elwell, dean of Rogers State University's School of Liberal Arts, has created a new sociology course that will become only the second MOOC offered in the state of Oklahoma. "Sociocultural Systems" will be available to the public starting in September. Elwell, who is also a professor of sociology at RSU, has also written a book by the same name that will be used during the course. Although there will be some lecture material available, Elwell does not intend for lecture videos to be the main source of learning. Instead, students will be expected to use forums, blogs and journals to discuss and learn the material and questions presented to them. The course is divided into 10 units that follow the layout of the textbook, which will also be made available for free by Athabasca Press. To enroll in this free MOOC, students can visit Blackboard Inc.'s CourseSites.
Employment Opportunities in Oklahoma
Even as Oklahoma enjoys a low unemployment rate compared to the national average, the lack of college degrees in the state could take a toll in the near future, according to a NewsOK article covering the 2013 Edmond Economic Preview. Figures presented by labor specialist Deidre Myers during the event show that, in order to sustain employment growth, Oklahoma needs 49 percent of the workforce to have vocational training or an associate degree, and 24 percent to hold a bachelor's degree.
Myers also pointed out that unemployment rates in the state are highest among those with less than a high school education, at about seven percent. The rate drops to five percent for those with a high school diploma, four percent among those with an associate degree or vocational certificate, and three percent among those who hold a bachelor's degree. However, according to the Lumina Foundation, only about 32 percent of all adults between the ages of 25 and 64 in Oklahoma hold at least an associate degree as of 2010, lower than the national average of 38 percent.
All of these numbers suggest that college graduates, including those that earn their degree online, often experience better luck in the job market. Thanks to online colleges, students now have more options for attaining postsecondary education. Today, there are many institutions that offer online degree programs in Oklahoma, including Oklahoma State University, the University of Tulsa, and Oklahoma City University.
Advantages of Online Education for Students in Oklahoma
Online schools in Oklahoma may be a good option for those who prefer to study outside of the traditional classroom setting. For parents or adults with full-time jobs, online learning offers a chance to earn a degree without sacrificing work or family obligations. Those who have trouble adapting to a regular classroom environment, such as those with mobility issues or learning challenges, may also find online learning more accommodating. In addition, Oklahoma's large geographical size means that some students might have to travel a great distance to attend a physical class; online education brings the classroom to them, which may open the door for more students to enroll in higher education courses.
Online education is a popular option for working adults who want to increase their knowledge or degree level. Taking classes through online colleges in Oklahoma can allow busy professionals to obtain their master's or doctoral degree on nights and weekends. This flexibility eliminates the need for them to take time out of their day to attend class in a traditional setting.
Online programs may also allow students to become more proficient using online communication tools and technologies, such as online forums and video conferencing. As more businesses expand globally, skills in these areas are becoming increasingly useful in the corporate world.
Trends in Online Education: Public and Private Online Schools in Oklahoma
Various public and private schools in Oklahoma now offer online opportunities, including standalone classes, certificate programs and degree options. The Online College of Oklahoma is a great virtual resource for those interested in an online education. Through the site, students can browse online degree and course options offered by participating universities and community colleges in the state.
Many of the largest universities in the state have begun offering online programs. Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City now features associate degrees in business technologies, management, health care, enterprise development, police science and public service. Students can find online options at the University of Tulsa as well, including a Master of Energy Business program. While the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University doesn't currently offer full degrees, it does have several online certificate programs, such as the Petroleum Land Management Certification.
In addition to state schools, national online colleges in Oklahoma are also available for those who want to explore online degree programs. Colleges such as Wichita Technical Institute, Brown Mackie College, National American University and University of Phoenix even have physical campuses in the state, allowing students to choose between a fully online degree or hybrid learning experience.
Entry Requirements and Application Process for Oklahoma Online Colleges
Those interested in earning a degree from an online college in Oklahoma can begin by researching programs that suit their chosen field of study. For more information on a particular online offering, prospective students should contact a school representative. As each college has different enrollment requirements, it is important to speak with an admissions counselor before starting the entry process. To take the next step, request more information from one of the schools listed below.
The Lumina Foundation
Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University
"More than meets the eye in Oklahoma job stats," NewsOK.com, January 30, 2013, Richard Mize
Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City
Online College of Oklahoma
The University of Tulsa
View Online College Courses in Oklahoma Below
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