Distance and Online Learning

Distance education and online learning provides students with the flexibility they need to complete coursework and pursue programs, despite their time and travel constraints. Shippensburg University provides distance education and online learning opportunities to students in alignment to the flexibility and convenience they need. 

Our programs are designed and taught by expert faculty with the busy student in mind, as well are in alignment with national and regional best practices and policies for online and distance education. Whether you are trying to complete pre-requisite coursework, degree requirements, or want to pursue new professional endeavors and certifications, we offer a variety of distance and blended learning opportunities.

Distance and Online Learning Overview

Distance learning courses and programs are an optimal alternative to individuals, especially those who are unable to attend class in-person or prefer to continue their education on their own time. Distance learning courses can be delivered in a variety of formats and tools, such as:

  • Blended /hybrid: Utilizing a combination of both online, face-to-face, and in-classroom participation.
  • Fully online:  Tutorials and courses with audio lectures, photo materials, chat classroom discussions, article readings, illustrations, and videos.  
  • Tools: D2L learning platform, video streaming, videoconferencing, and web conferencing.

Benefits of Learning at a Distance or Online

Distance education is ideal and convenient for people who:

  • Have a busy work and life schedule.
  • Limited access to local educational programs.
  • Self-motivated and can complete work at their own pace.
  • Want a cost-effective alternative, due to minimal or no travel expenses, or relocation costs often associated with students who live on campus.
  • Structured and inclusive learning environment that allows for accelerated, focused coursework.
  • Are driven to pursue and complete degree, professional or academic goals so that they can get to the next level in their life.

The Future of Learning: Distance and Online Education 

Learning at distance can be challenging and rewarding. According to the annual report conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsors the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, StudyPortals, WCET and Tyton Partners, distance education enrollment shows continuous growth within higher education in the United States. 

Key findings you should know about distance and online learning:

  • Over 5.8 million students were enrolled in at least one online course during the fall semester 2014.
  • Furthermore, of the students taking online courses, more than 2.85 million took all of their courses online.
  • More than one in four students (28%) now take at least one distance education course (a total of 5,828,826 students, a year‐to‐year increase of 217,275).
  • According report, 90% of students think online learning is the same or better than the traditional classroom experience.
  • Nearly 2/3 of academic leaders believe blended courses with both online and classroom components hold great promise and potential to improve student learning outcomes and critical to the long-term strategies for institutions. 

Source: Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States, February 2016 

Quick source: Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States - Infographic