dcsimg

Interview: David B. Kelley, Ed.D, Executive Director Massachusetts Colleges Online

David B. Kelley, Ed.D, Executive Director at Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) based in Massachusetts, joins us to discuss their programs.

1. Tell us about the distance learning programs offered at Massachusetts Colleges Online.

Let me start by saying that Mass Colleges Online (MCO) is a consortium of the state and community colleges within Massachusetts that offer online courses. So the online courses and programs are actually offered by our members and not MCO itself. As of today our member institutions collectively offer 1474 courses, 61 Associate Degrees, 1 Bachelors Degree, 6 Masters Degrees and 30 undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. The degree and certificate programs range from Criminal Justice associates degrees to Web Development certificates to graduate degrees in Education.

2. What is the typical duration of each of your programs?

They vary depending on the type of program, but as you can see by the numbers the bulk of the degrees offered by our institutions are associates degrees which require a minimum of a 2 year commitment to complete for full time students. However, since many of our students work fulltime and pursue their degrees part time the time to completion can take longer.

3. What would you say makes Massachusetts Colleges Online programs different and better than other comparable online programs?

MCO member colleges have joined forces to collectively address the needs of their online students. Pooling of resources means that our members can collectively offer more to their students than they may be able to on their own. For example, our community college members broker courses with each other. Very simply put this means that students from one college are able to take brokered courses offered by another college without having to go through with the transfer process. In the Fall 07 semester 4 of our colleges will be offering an online Criminal Justice Associates Degree by sharing courses in the criminal justice curriculum. This type of collaboration increases access for students while allowing our colleges to be more cost effective and start specializing in the courses they build and offer online.

4. How important would you say accreditation is when choosing an online college?

Accreditation is key to validating the validity and quality of any degree someone receives from an institution. The external review by an accrediting agency provides the stamp of approval that the faculty, curriculum, administration and students services of a particular institution meet or exceed the established standards of excellence. This is of particular importance in the case of online students who may or may not get to visit the college they are enrolled in. Knowing that they are getting their degree from an accredited institution proves the veracity of that degree and all the work that went into earning it. All MCO member institutions and their online programs are accredited by NEASC.

5. There is some debate as to whether or not online degrees are as worthwhile as traditional degrees. What steps does Massachusetts Colleges Online take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they'd receive in a classroom?

Some people may have the mistaken impression that online courses are easier and that there isn't as much rigor in an online course resulting in a potentially substandard degree. However, as anyone who has taken an online course learns first hand this is far from the case and there is no back row in an online classroom. In fact according to the Sloan Consortium Study titled "Making the Grade - Online Education in the United States, 2006" 62% of academic leaders rated the learning outcomes in online education "as the same or superior to those in face-to-face". Online courses cover the same material as in a face-to-face courses and many faculty teach the same course both in the classroom and online so the argument that one degree is less worthwhile no longer holds water. The fact that all MCO member colleges are accredited also lends further credence to the fact that both traditional and online methods of earning degrees at these institutions are equally valid endeavors.

6. What would you say are the greatest benefits of earning a degree online rather than in a traditional classroom?

Online courses remove the time and space barrier that has stood in the way of many folks in the past. Working people, those without transportation, those who travel on business, soldiers stationed abroad, single mothers without available child care now can pursue a degree or certificate program online which may enable them to earn higher wages and move ahead with their careers. Home schooled students, high school seniors and students who live in remote locations in search of advance courses can take online courses that they may not have access to otherwise. Online education has opened doors for all these people who would not be able to get the education they need so this increased access is what I think is the greatest benefit of online education.

7. If a student enrolled in one of your programs was interested in finding an internship in their field in their area, do you have any means of assisting them in acquiring an internship position?

As I mentioned before MCO is a consortium of colleges so the student would need to take this up with the particular institution they were enrolled in. Our member colleges try very hard to meet the needs of all their students.

8. Is financial aid available to students in your programs?

Yes. Our colleges provide financial aid to their students.

9. Do you have any advice for students who have never attended an online school but are considering enrolling in one?

Online education requires dedication by the student. Students who are self-directed and can stay on task tend to do very well in online courses. In addition it is of course necessary for students to have a way to connect to the Internet, some familiarity using computers, sending and receiving e-mail and manipulating files online. Students who are not confident in their abilities in this regard may need to work on these skills before enrolling in an online course. Sometimes it is a good idea for a student to try their hand at a non-credit online course in an area of personal interest as a first step. This can be a relatively low-cost way of getting started in online education.

10. What do you love most about your position at Massachusetts Colleges Online?

Managing a consortium which is helping colleges to create new cutting edge innovative strategies to open up greater access to higher education is quite exciting. I am particularly optimistic that our new initiative whereby colleges can share online courses to launch a fully online degree program will rapidly escalate the number of online degrees offered by Massachusetts community and state colleges.

For more information about Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO), go here to visit them online.

Thank you David, for sharing and participating in this piece for Online Degrees 2.0

That concludes our interview!


Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
MSW@Denver , Online

MSW@Denver is an online Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW). With a focus on social justice and a concentration in Mental Health and Trauma, MSW@Denver is designed to prepare you to make an impact working with individuals, families, groups and communities. GSSW faculty will teach you actionable skills so you can create change in your community. The program includes live, online classes and internships in your community.

  • Online Courses

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

  • Online Courses
  • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
  • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
  • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
  • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
  • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
  • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Christian-based business program. 15+ specialization options. ACBSP accredited.
  • 60+ undergraduate & graduate degree options in Liberty School of Business.
  • 2014 Best for Vets Business School by Military Times.
  • MBA program ranked Best Buy Online MBA Regional Program by GetEducated.com.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
  • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has famous alumni including chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986. The most significant evolution of the College started when its third CEO, Dr. Sabrina Kay, assumed leadership in 2007. Fremont College became an innovative center adopting the framework of Work-Based Learning Leadership at the Wharton School and Dr. Kay’s thesis on improved learning through practice and collaboration.
  • Online Courses
  • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
  • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
  • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
  • Take advantage of four start dates per year
  • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
  • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
  • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

  • Online Courses
  • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses

Since 1888, The University of Scranton has grounded its education in Catholic and Jesuit principles based on intellectual growth and integrity, all of which shape the online master’s and certificate programs. You can choose one of five graduate degree programs from a selective institution ranked among the Top 10 Universities in the North and Top 20 Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report.

 

The online, master’s degree curriculum is taught by highly credentialed faculty and reflects the same rigorous academic standards as the on-campus programs. Nearly all of The University of Scranton’s instructional faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees in their fields – so you can excel in yours.

  • Online Courses
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Featured Schools