SUNY Online Education Enrollment Doubles
ALBANY, N.Y.The virtual world is getting crowded in New York as enrollment doubles at the state’s online college program. The increase in the last year to 25,814 students makes the program the second largest online college program in the country behind the University of Maryland, State University of New York Learning Network officials announced last month. Since the program began in 1995, enrollment on average has at least doubled each year. The tuition is the same as if attending a SUNY school, $3,400 a year, although online students avoid campus fees. Many students take courses part-time, and pay the rates charged by the college with which they are working. The SUNY college rates include $128 per credit hour through a two-year college, $137 through a four-year school, and $213 for graduate-level work. Credit costs at community colleges can be much less. The program, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and SUNY, connects students to faculty at 53 campuses and will offer more than 2,000 courses by the fall. When the program began in 1995, it offered eight courses. It is SUNY’s effort in the national growth of what academics call asynchronous learning networks used by students to augment traditional studies or to earn degrees. “If it weren’t for online courses, I would have never gone back to school,” says Michelle Emlin of Rome, a mother of three, working full-time and pursuing an accounting degree. “They have given me the ability to juggle family, career and school.”
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