Over the winter break, Kennesaw State was ranked within the top 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. for online enrollment, according to Patch.com.
For the Fall 2019 semester, online enrollment increased from previous years, with nearly 5,000 full-time students enrolled online, according to Patch.
“Growth in online courses at KSU means that students will have greater flexibility in where and when they take their classes,” KSU Interim Assistant Vice President of Curriculum and Academic Innovation Dr. Anissa Vega said. “Additionally, online courses are another way of growing our reach as an institution to serve learners who live in Georgia’s rural communities, in other states or even other countries.”
In 2018, 3,900 KSU students were enrolled in online classes full-time while 15,000 KSU students were taking online classes, according to Patch. The number of students enrolled online in 2018 was a 5.5 percent increase from the number of students enrolled online in 2017, according to Patch.
Since 2015, the total number of KSU students taking classes online has increased by nearly 50 percent, according to Patch.
Online course enrollment is partially a result of students attempting to maintain a feasible social life in conjunction with their academic studies.
“I took an online course last semester because I was able to fit it into my schedule as I pleased instead of altering my already established schedule to fit in a physical class,” business management junior Tyler White said.
White said taking online classes allows him to do his schoolwork at his own pace.
“I intend on signing up for online courses as long as they continue to be offered,” White said. “Online classes offer a new feel to learning. I can get ahead on multiple assignments, whereas in a physical class I would most likely follow the pace created to cater to a large group.”
Online course enrollment has been growing rapidly since KSU first introduced several online programs in the 2007 academic year, according to a 2013 KSU News release. Six years after becoming available, online enrollment grew to 11,300 students to cap off the 2013 academic year, according to KSU News.
Vega said that despite the stigma, students taking online classes are successful, just as their peers in physical classes.
“Research shows that online courses and traditional face-to-face courses produce no significant difference in student success in college,” Vega said. “An excellent online course is dependent on the same factors as an excellent face-to-face course, quality course design and a well-prepared and attentive instructor.”
KSU has two online doctoral programs, four specialist degree programs, 21 online master’s degree programs and 12 online bachelor’s degree programs — allowing students to fully continue their education past undergraduate degrees, according to Patch.
In 2019, KSU’s online business and information technology graduate degrees made the top 50 list of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Online Programs,” according to a KSU News release.