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Community College Requires Students to Learn Online
By Brooke Heath
 
In an effort to help its students become well-rounded and better prepared to enter the workforce, Northwest State Community College in Archbold, OH, will require that all students take at least one online course prior to graduating.

Faculty and staff at the college feel that implementing this plan will help students to develop independent research and discovery skills, which they claim are important to potential employers.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the college's chief learning officer, Linda Carr, said, "Businesses are moving toward online training, and students have to learn to be self-motivated. In the workplace, you are responsible for doing what you need to do on your own time."

The school's administration and trustees support online education so much, in fact, that over the next few years, they hope to give students the option of taking any class the school has to offer online. They plan to design each course so that students have the option to take it online or in person.

"Ultimately, almost all courses will be available via an online mode," Carr said. "It's a chance for us to teach [students] important skills. In this day and age, it's not a luxury to go online."

Currently, students may choose from among the many business, engineering, and general education classes already offered online to fulfill this new requirement. There is no limit to how many credit hours students may take, and a student can complete the online requirement by taking a class on any subject.

Northwest State Community College's new approach is catching on. According to Diana G. Oblinger, Vice President of EDUCAUSE, other institutions are becoming interested in adapting the community college's program for their own schools and requiring their students to engage in online learning in some form.

"It's a recognition that people are going to have to take charge of their educations," Oblinger said. "Putting this directly in the path of students means if they are not used to independent learning, they can get help while in a structured environment rather than leaving it to chance at work."

The school's online requirement will be implemented as part of the curriculum beginning this fall.




 


Article Title : Community College Requires Students to Learn Online
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