10 Schools Offering Academic Support to Online Degree Students
If you are considering earning your college degree online, you are in good company. According to the Sloan Consortium, about a third of college students will take at least one online course over the span of their academic careers. Nonetheless, some research suggests that when it comes to difficult classes, many students prefer to report to a traditional classroom. One explanation: they fear they will not find the academic support they need to succeed online. Fret not, online-curious learners: many online schools have services in place to help web-based students feel just as supported as those on campus. Here are ten colleges that offer academic support services for all types of students.
- Bellevue College (Bellevue, WA): Bellevue College offers both campus-based and online degree programs -- and academic support for students attending classes either way. Campus-based students have access to drop-in tutoring services through the Academic Success Center, which also features a handful of subject-specific study rooms, such as the Science Study Center, as well math and writing labs. Online students, meanwhile, can take advantage of web-based tutoring for select courses via the Western eTutoring Consortium. Bellevue's Library Media Center also accommodates both online and campus-based students through its broad selection of physical and electronic books and videos.
- Caldwell College (Caldwell, NJ): This New Jersey college also serves both traditional and online students, maintaining academic support services for both types of learners. Among them are academic advising services, and both drop-in and regular tutoring through the Academic Success Center. While campus-based students can go to Jennings Library to browse a number of resources -- including books, academic journals and a large audio-visual collection -- online students can access web-based research databases and download hundreds of e-books.
- Champlain College (Burlington, VT): Champlain's motto is, "Let us dare," though both online and traditional students who embrace that philosophy can do so with a safety net of academic services designed to help them succeed. While campus-based students can drop by the Accounting & Math Lab or the Writing Center for helpful resources and instruction from live tutors, online students can take advantage of Champlain's partnership with SMARTHINKING, a web-based tutoring company offering around-the-clock homework help. Champlain's library also maintains a number of resources and research tools for all students, including several eJournals.
- Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN): ISU's Student Services Concierge program was designed to link students who attend online courses with services that may help them succeed, such as electronic library materials, academic databases and research guides in dozens of subjects. The program can also link online students with campus-based services, such as free tutoring and supplemental instruction through the Center for Student Success (CFSS). Other services available through the CFSS include the First Generation Faculty Mentoring Program for first-generation college students and assistance services designed for student athletes.
- Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN): Students enrolled in MTSU's distance learning programs may find they have just as much academic support as those who attend classes on campus. These web-based services can include academic success workshops, career development services and iStudySmart credit-by-exam preparation. Online students can also access tutors 24/7 thanks to MTSU's partnership with SMARTHINKING. They can also get online writing help through the University Writing Center. The James E. Walker Library even offers students online access to research assistance and full-text electronic databases.
- Saint Leo University (St. Leo, FL): According to its official website, Saint Leo tries to make students who do not attend classes on campus still feel like part of the community, and one of the ways it aims to achieve this is through academic support services such as peer mentoring, academic advising and free online tutoring, which is available 24/7. Online students can also access thousands of e-books and scholarly journals and get research support from library staff.
- Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX): Texas Tech serves students not only through its main campus, but also from one of several regional centers and online. It also offers programs designed to support students through whichever learning method they choose. Students taking online courses can take advantage of many of the services available at the the Learning Center, including online tutoring and study skills resources. The TTU Library also offers web-based databases, eBooks and eJournals for those in web-based degree programs. Online students can even consult a librarian at any time by phone or through a web-based live chat application.
- University at Albany (Albany, NY): This State University of New York (SUNY) college hosts several programs that serve students pursuing traditional or online degrees. For example, academic advisors are prepared to assist all students in course or major selection. Campus-based students can browse through thousands of books, journals and other research materials at the University Libraries, while online students can access many of these same tools digitally from home. Both types of learners can also take advantage of The Writing Center for cross-discipline writing support from peer-tutors, faculty and dedicated staff.
- University of Missouri (Columbia, MO): As with other schools featured on this list, Mizzou extends a number of academic support programs to both its traditional and online college students. At the Learning Center, campus-based students can get one-on-one tutoring support in diverse subjects, and those who qualify for the TRiO program can find some of this support for free. All students -- online or otherwise -- can review web-based exam review sheets, access cyber tutorials and get electronic feedback on their work through the Online Writery.
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Greensboro, NC): UNC at Greensboro offers a variety of campus- and web-based academic support services designed to help all students succeed. Online students have access to the University Speaking Center, through which they can get online feedback for speeches or presentations; the Learning Assistance Center, which offers resources to help students refine their study skills; and even an advising center connecting students with academic advisers who can help guide their progress. They can also take advantage of web-based library services, such as online workshops, streaming videos and research tools.
Choosing the Right Program
The schools above are featured on our list because they strive to support their students academically -- however students choose to learn -- but there are many other colleges that maintain similar programs. No one school is right for everyone, so it can pay to do a bit of research to find one that suits your goals and learning style. You can learn more about these institutions by following the links we have provided above or by contacting their admissions staff directly.