For Immediate Release: January 9, 2018
Contact: Tony Cook, Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Phone: (504) 671-5478
New Orleans -- New data released by the U.S. Department of Education indicate that Delgado Community College is among the fastest-growing online higher education providers in the nation.
Online enrollment at Delgado in the Fall 2016 semester, the most recent period for which nationwide data are available, stood at 11,791. This was a considerable jump in online enrollment from the year before, Fall 2015, when 4,828 students enrolled in online classes at Delgado.
The data rank Delgado 60th among all American colleges and universities in the number of students enrolled online. Delgado’s online students live in Louisiana and 19 other states, in every region of the country.
According to a January 5, 2018, online report by the publication Inside Higher Education, “the number of college students enrolled in at least one online course -- and the proportion of all enrolled students who are studying online -- continued to rise at U.S. institutions in the 2016 academic year, the newly released federal data show.” https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/article/2018/01/05/new-us-data-show-continued-growth-college-students-studying
Last fall, Delgado was ranked among the 50 best online community colleges nationwide by Best Value Schools, an online information resource for students and families. Delgado was ranked 45th nationwide, and is the only Louisiana community college to be ranked. The ranking was published on the organization’s website in November. https://www.bestvalueschools.com/online-community-colleges/
“We know that today’s college students need flexibility in their educational experience, and the delivery of instruction online either completely or in conjunction with classroom and lab-based learning enables many to achieve their goals more expeditiously, with less expense and with less disruption of their lifestyles,” said Jeanne Samuel, Delgado’s dean of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology.
“In addition, learning online provides the opportunity to become proficient in essential soft skills required by employers,” Samuel said. Soft skills include creative thinking, work ethic, decision-making, positivity, time management, motivation, flexibility and problem-solving.
Delgado officials attribute the rapid increase in online enrollment to increased course offerings across the academic spectrum at Louisiana’s largest community college, which has 114 different academic programs. Also a key factor in online growth are flexible scheduling and structuring of courses, which includes offering courses that require only 8 weeks to complete rather than the 16 weeks required in a traditional course. Online courses also begin and end more frequently on the annual academic calendar, which enables students in some programs, such as business administration, management and accounting, to earn an associate’s degree in 18 months instead of the traditional 24.
“This saves time and money,” said Patrick Conroy, chair of Business Studies at Delgado. “These offerings are ideal for the working adult who needs the flexibility of online classes and wants to complete the degree in as little time as possible.”
The average age of a Delgado student is 28. Many students are working full-time or part-time while they pursue their educational goals. The college also assists military veterans and their families to take college courses and earn credentials.
“We work with students to maximize credit for their prior learning, including classes taken at other schools, and we offer credit exams,” Conroy said.
Also significant is the increased recognition by students of the value of Delgado credits, courses and credentials when transferring to other colleges or universities, and on the employment market. Thousands of career-focused students saw their dreams deferred last year when the for-profit ITT Tech system collapsed nationwide, including two locations serving the greater New Orleans population. Credits and credentials from ITT Tech were not readily transferrable to other institutions and the job market. Many of those students found renewed hope at Delgado, which created accelerated pathways for evaluation of prior study and acceptance into Delgado’s fully accredited programs of study, including online programs.
Academic programs at Delgado are not only fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which is the preeminent accrediting body for higher education in the Southern United States, they are also accredited by industry organizations that monitor the relevance of coursework to particular career paths, such as automotive technology, architectural design and construction, biotechnology, electrical engineering, nursing and other health professions.
Founded in 1921, Delgado Community College is the largest, oldest and most diverse community college in Louisiana. The college enrolls about 18,000 students each semester in degree, certificate and diploma programs as well as adult education and workforce development. At seven locations and online, Delgado serves residents of the Greater New Orleans region and a broad range of the Gulf South, other U.S. states and Latin America. www.dcc.edu
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