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Online programs in Georgia are top in the nation

When students cannot find the time to be physically in a classroom throughout the day, online education can become a huge convenience for them. That is where colleges in Georgia play a big role in helping students in that department.

Ranking fifth out of all schools with an online bachelor’s degree program, University of Georgia gives these students a great chance to acquire their education while maintaining a full time job or other ventures in their personal lives. The president of the university, Jere Morehead, made it clear in his interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he wants nothing but the best online knowledge for those enrolled in his university and for students to be provided “a world-class learning experience.”

“Through a growing number of online degree programs, working professionals and other nontraditional students have opportunities to advance their careers by earning a degree from [UGA” said Morehead. The rankings of best online bachelor’s degree programs are based on plenty of things other than just the type of programs they are offering.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The University of Georgia is also highly praised for the graduation rate of the online students. The school ranks third in that category against all schools nationwide. While the graduation rate for UGA is 61 percent, according to U.S. News, UGA recorded a record high 85.3 graduation rate in 2015 according to OnlineAthens.

The rankings in the AJC were based on the following: student engagement, student services and faculty credentials. The UGA scored an excellent 94 in student engagement, making it tied for second in that category of the top 50 schools with Graceland University, according to U.S. News.

Other notable Georgia institutions are Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), which ranked 24th and Georgia College and State University (GCSU), ranked 49th.

The state of Georgia has three schools ranked in the top 50 of online bachelor degree programs, 3rd for a state with at least one institute in the top 50 schools.

Georgia also ranked pretty high in the Graduate’s online programs as well. Out of 50 schools in the MBA program, Georgia had three schools on the list, which were GCSU (22nd), Georgia Southern University (28th) and, tied with Georgia Southern, was Kennesaw State University.

To get a new perspective on how people feel about Georgia’s extraordinary online degree programs, students were asked how they felt. Patrick Sledge, a journalism major on Dunwoody campus felt that discipline is what drives students to complete an online course. “Some subjects are a little harder to take online than others.” said Sledge.

Sledge, having taken math online, found it difficult to actually do the work online as opposed to doing it in class. He believed that it gave the student more chance of having time management.

“Online classes are great for the nontraditional students and those who work 40 hours a week. They may be expensive, but [it] helps balance your time” said Sledge.

Camille Bolos, a journalism major on the Dunwoody campus, shared similar feelings to Sledge as she explained her experience with online education. “I did not expect the amount of work that had to be put in on an online class as opposed to sitting in the classroom and listening to the professor,” said Bolos. She also mentioned the discipline one has to have in order to complete the class online.

Ample students find this route of online education very convenient for them. According to Inside Higher Ed, from the fall of 2013 to the fall of 2014, an increase of student enrollment online spiked 4.7 percent more. It is clear that online education may seem a bit more difficult, but a lot manageable for those who do not attend classes on campus.

About Taj Strickland

Dunwoody staff writer

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