In a highly competitive job market, you need all the help you can get. Online schools in Tennessee can offer the educational opportunities necessary to earn the college degree many employers now require for even entry-level work.
Fortunately, advancements in technology make online schools a viable choice for those who want to earn their degree but might not have the time to sit in a traditional classroom in order to do it. Online learning is definitely catching on: According to a 2013 report from the Sloan Consortium, thirty-two percent of higher education students take at least one course online. In Tennessee, more than 38,000 students take at least one class through the Regents Online Campus Collaborative every year. Whether you fresh out of high school, a professional changing career paths or a worker who needs an educational boost, a college degree can be your path to a better future.
Distance learning was once seen as the lesser sister of a traditional college education. Today, it is recognized as a viable opportunity for working professionals, busy parents and those who prefer a different type of learning to earn an accredited degree at their own pace. In fact, online learning has become so accepted that during the Fall 2011 term, over 6.7 million students were enrolled in at least one online course, according to the Sloan Consortium report.
Whether you are a working professional looking for a new career path, a busy parent without enough hours in a day or a high school students looking to get a jump-start on college credit, online schools in Tennessee offer several clear advantages.
There was a time not long ago when the only option for a college education was attending class in a brick-and-mortar school. The rigid scheduling and classroom attendance requirement meant that many individuals had to choose between work and school, or those with children had to put off their education until their kids were in school, too. Today, students aren’t limited to whatever college or university is close by; you can choose to attend college anywhere in the nation from the comfort of your own home. This means you can choose the college that is right for you based on the criteria that matters most, not on the location and logistics.
The typical college experience used to consist of lecture classes held in large halls, working slowly through textbooks and sitting through courses that might not have held your attention. Today, independent learners have many more options when online education is through into the mix. Distance learning employs a wide variety of multi-media to reach students, including videos, slideshows, audio lectures, message boards, chat rooms and much more. These tools allow you to learn in a way that best suits you, not the way that best suits the college.
In a traditional classroom, students carry heavy books to their desks, take copious notes and have many different notebooks, schedules and course aids to juggle. In contrast, online colleges in Tennessee offer all the assignments, course materials, discussions, notes and more in one convenient place. Simply logging into a student account gives you immediate access to everything you need, with no bulky textbooks or notebooks to carry around. Best of all, students can explore the material at their own pace.
Traditional colleges often have rigid schedules, and that mean classes meet at a set time, professors have set office hours and getting in touch with them can be difficult if your schedule doesn’t match up with theirs. Online learning breaks down the time barrier and allows you to converse with professors, students and peers through web-based communications. Email, chat rooms, message boards and the like allow you time to reflect and ask intelligent questions. Those who still face-to-face interaction with professors can find that as well, through new technologies that allow for video conferencing.
Perhaps your job keeps you busy throughout the day, and your only free time is in the evenings. Or perhaps you have small children who require your attention, and you can’t get a moment for yourself until late at night, when the rest of the world is asleep. A few decades ago, going to college in these situations would have been impossible. Today, you can choose college degree programs that allow the flexibility to choose when you will listen to the lectures or do the homework. This freedom to choose means you can avoid distractions, work at your own pace and complete the work to the best of your ability without worry about the social aspects of a classroom setting.
Even as online schools become more popular and online courses are offered as an element to many traditional degree programs, some students are still wary of online degree programs. Fortunately, times are changing rapidly and online learning is earning clear approval from both students and educators alike. Sloan Consortium found that seventy-seven percent of academic leaders believe online education is the same quality or even superior to face-to-face learning, and over 69 percent of those leaders believe that online learning is critical to long-term strategy for their universities and colleges.
There is some evidence that online schools actually offer students an edge on learning. Research from SRI International found that on average, students in online classes performed modestly better than those who took classes with face-to-face instruction. This might be attributed to the lack of distractions surrounding a student doing online work, or to the availability of all class materials for more stringent review during times when the online student is able to truly focus and concentrate on the subject matter.
There was a time when online schools offered only certificates, diplomas or associate degrees. Now online offerings are a powerhouse of variety, including many different fields and degree levels. Today, Tennessee online schools offer associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a wide variety of fields, and more students are taking the plunge into their degree pursuits online. The Regents Online Campus Cooperative saw just over 1,000 students enrolled when the program began in 2001; in 2010, there were over 14,500 students taking online degree programs through Tennessee schools. There is also no question of the high quality of online education in Tennessee; the value of the degree awarded is the same as that of those who choose to pursue their education through the traditional classroom route.
According to a 2012 report from the Lumina Foundation, 31.85 percent of the state’s 3.4 million working age adults held at least a two-year degree, lower than the national average of 38.8 percent. The state ranked 42nd among all states in college attainment.
There is no doubt that Tennessee needs more graduates. In fact, 700,000 new degrees will be required in order to meet workforce demands by 2025, and 54 percent of jobs in the state will require a college degree by 2018. Earning a degree not only opens the door to those jobs, but also opens up the possibility of higher pay and lower unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in most cases higher degree attainment corresponds with higher paychecks and a lower unemployment rate.
Fortunately, online learning allows students to explore new career paths and earn their degree at their own pace while not sacrificing family or work commitments to do so. Tennessee online schools can be a ticket to success in a very competitive job market. For more information about Tennessee online colleges, see our list of distance learning institutions and state resources below.
|School Name||Program Types||Enrollment|
|Austin Peay State University||Campus, Online||10,873|
|Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences||Campus, Online||963|
|Bryan College-Dayton||Campus, Online||1,466|
|Chattanooga State Community College||Campus, Online||10,438|
|Columbia State Community College||Campus, Online||5,460|
|Cumberland University||Campus, Online||1,491|
|East Tennessee State University||Campus, Online||15,250|
|Fountainhead College of Technology||Campus, Online||228|
|Freed-Hardeman University||Campus, Online||1,972|
|Johnson University||Campus, Online||845|
|King College||Campus, Online||2,126|
|Lee University||Campus, Online||4,411|
|Lipscomb University||Campus, Online||4,010|
|Meharry Medical College||Campus, Online||772|
|Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting||Campus, Online||340|
|Middle Tennessee State University||Campus, Online||26,442|
|Nashville State Community College||Campus, Online||9,876|
|Oxford Graduate School||Campus, Online||92|
|Pellissippi State Community College||Campus, Online||11,259|
|Pentecostal Theological Seminary||Campus, Online||148|
|Roane State Community College||Campus, Online||6,801|
|Southern Adventist University||Campus, Online||3,200|
|Tennessee State University||Campus, Online||9,165|
|Tennessee Technological University||Campus, Online||11,768|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Athens||Campus, Online||197|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Covington||Campus, Online||248|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Crossville||Campus, Online||306|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Crump||Campus, Online||218|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Dickson||Campus, Online||614|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton||Campus, Online||511|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Harriman||Campus, Online||212|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Hartsville||Campus, Online||608|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Hohenwald||Campus, Online||442|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Jacksboro||Campus, Online||265|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Jackson||Campus, Online||404|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville||Campus, Online||742|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Livingston||Campus, Online||517|
|Tennessee Technology Center at McKenzie||Campus, Online||208|
|Tennessee Technology Center at McMinnville||Campus, Online||208|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis||Campus, Online||934|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Morristown||Campus, Online||692|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Murfreesboro||Campus, Online||330|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville||Campus, Online||1,041|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Newbern||Campus, Online||347|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Oneida-Huntsville||Campus, Online||384|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Paris||Campus, Online||300|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Pulaski||Campus, Online||497|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville||Campus, Online||442|
|Tennessee Technology Center at Whiteville||Campus, Online||156|
|Tennessee Temple University||Campus, Online||885|
|School Name||Program Types||Enrollment|
|Tennessee Wesleyan College||Campus, Online||1,080|
|The University of Tennessee||Campus, Online||30,194|
|The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga||Campus, Online||11,438|
|The University of Tennessee-Martin||Campus, Online||7,910|
|Trevecca Nazarene University||Campus, Online||2,478|
|University of Memphis||Campus, Online||22,725|
|University of Phoenix-Chattanooga Campus||Campus, Online, Hybrid||558|
|University of Phoenix-Knoxville Campus||Campus, Online, Hybrid||57|
|University of Phoenix-Memphis Campus||Campus, Online, Hybrid||1,359|
|University of Phoenix-Nashville Campus||Campus, Online, Hybrid||1,826|
|Vanderbilt University||Campus, Online||12,836|
|Victory University||Campus, Online||994|
|Volunteer State Community College||Campus, Online||8,666|
|Walters State Community College||Campus, Online||6,733|
|Welch College||Campus, Online||290|
|Williamson Christian College||Campus, Online||118|