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Online Schools in Iowa

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In terms of quality of life, Iowans can certainly take pride in their state. The Iowa Department of Economic Development has an entire list of honors and accolades bestowed on the state by organizations across the country. In 2010, among other honors, Iowa was named the second most livable state in the nation by CQ Press and the sixth best state to raise a child by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

As Iowa moves out of the recession, state leaders have placed a renewed focus on higher education. According to information published by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, by 2018 approximately 62 percent of all jobs in Iowa are expected to require post-secondary education. The commission identified Iowa online schools as one avenue for state residents to obtain the higher education they need to fill these future jobs.

Iowa Encourages Students to Pursue Higher Education

At the center of the state's push toward higher education is the "I Have a Plan Iowa" web portal. Launched by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, the online platform was created to encourage and prepare students for higher education. A key component of the program is financial literacy to reduce student debt in Iowa. The commission reported in 2010 that student debt levels in the state are among the highest in the nation at an average of $28,883.

Despite the student debt statistics, earning a degree remains one of the best ways to improve employment prospects for state residents. The U.S. Census Bureau found that from 2005 to 2009, unemployment for Iowa adults was less than two percent for those with a bachelor's degree. However, the average unemployment rate jumped to ten percent for those with less than a high school diploma.

Improving Educational Opportunities Through Online Schools

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that there are 65 Title IV degree-granting institutions in Iowa, which is somewhat below the national average of 88 per state. In order to make higher education more accessible for Iowans, many institutions--both public and private--are turning toward virtual classrooms and online degree programs.

For example, in 1999, seven of the state's community colleges joined to form the Iowa Community College Online Consortium. The group has worked since its formation to develop standard policies and procedures as well as train instructors and coordinate student services for Iowa online schools.

Private universities and colleges have also participated in developing Iowa online degree programs. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission notes that approximately 68,000 students pursued online degree programs at two state for-profit universities in 2008.

Online degree programs can also help reduce costs for working families, meeting a need facing many Iowa students. The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave Iowa an "F" for affordability in 2008, indicating a need for lower costs and increased access to higher education. Students enrolled in Iowa online schools do not have to pay for parking or commuting and may be able to take fewer courses per semester to spread out their tuition costs.

Hot Jobs for Iowa College Graduates

Iowa online degree programs can prepare students for a wide range of career options in some of the state's fastest growing occupations. Iowa Workforce Development, a state agency, publishes a list of the top 50 high demand and high wage occupations in the state. From 2008-2018, the following are some of the hottest occupations for bachelor's degree holders in Iowa as well as their 2010 mean salary:

  • Construction managers: $83,469
  • Computer software engineers, system software: $77,664
  • Civil engineers: $76,238
  • Financial examiners: $74,474

While most careers on the hot jobs list require an undergraduate or graduate degree, high demand careers exist for those with associate degrees as well. Dental hygienists, another profession on the list, generally require only a two-year degree. Professionals in this occupation earned a mean salary of $64,093 in 2010.

In a state that values higher education, the online schools in Iowa provide students with an alternative to traditional degree programs. Iowans enrolled in distance learning can study at their own pace while earning a degree that can improve both their employment and income potential.

Online Schools in Iowa

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
            • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
            • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
            • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
            • Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Syracuse University’s Master of Science in Computer Science program is designed to help students discover groundbreaking solutions to complex technology challenges and develop expertise in areas such as security and assurance, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, and advanced programming.
            • Students will gain advanced knowledge in critical areas, such as Security and Assurance, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Architecture, and Advanced Programming.
            • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
            • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
            • Designed and taught by Syracuse faculty, the curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application.
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            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Syracuse University’s online Master of Science in Computer Engineering program teaches students to create groundbreaking hardware and software solutions for new and emerging systems
            • You will learn to drive innovation and solve the most difficult computer engineering challenges with advanced knowledge of key topics including: security and assurance, network systems, computer architecture, and advanced programming
            • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
            • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
            • Designed and taught by Syracuse faculty, the curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Master of Science in Communications offered online through Syracuse University’s world-renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications.
            • Ranked among the Best Global Universities in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Specializations include Advertising, Public Relations, and Journalism Innovation.
            • Coursework provides students with communication strategies for today’s changing media landscape.
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Earn an NYU degree from anywhere in the country using our state-of-the-art online platform. You’ll attend live online classes, complete self-paced course work, and gain hands-on clinical experiences at field sites in or near your community.
            • Personalize your education based on your interests and goals with our diverse curriculum. Our clinical externship experiences and electives are designed to provide you with a comprehensive learning experience. We also offer all necessary foundation courses for admitted students who need to complete them before beginning the graduate-level courses.
            • Complete courses taught by expert NYU faculty who have diverse research interests and expertise in a variety of areas. As practicing clinicians who are highly active in the field, our faculty members apply real-world experiences to the classroom and act as supportive mentors to our students. 
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            1 Program(s) Found

            Simmons’ online Master of Public Health program, MPH@Simmons, is designed to give you the real-world skills you need to address health inequity on a local, national, and global scale. The MPH@Simmons program explores the core areas of public health: epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy and health services, environmental health, and social/behavioral health. Additionally, the practice-based curriculum incorporates courses specifically designed to help you develop leadership and advocacy skills.

            The program is delivered online through a blend of live online classes and self-paced course work. Additionally, you’ll participate in public health service-learning experiences during your time in the program, giving you relevant, on-ground experience.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Online Courses