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Online Schools in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of 29 states participating in the Complete College America (CCA) initiative. Supported by five national foundations, CCA's goal is to increase the number of Americans holdings some form of college degree. In September 2011, the governor of Oklahoma announced that the state hopes to raise the annual graduation rate from 30,500 to 50,900 by 2023. Online degree programs may help Oklahoma meet this goal by providing more students with the opportunity to pursue higher education. From vocational certification to graduate degrees, online schools in Oklahoma now feature a wide range of programs that are typically more flexible than traditional, classroom-based education.

Online Education Resources for Students in Oklahoma

Oklahoma schools offer residents many options through which to achieve a college degree online. One of these, Reach Higher, is a degree-completion program for students who wish to return to school. Currently, options are limited to an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Sciences in enterprise development, as well as a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership. Another resource is the Online College of Oklahoma, a database where students can search through 3,400 courses and 18 degree programs offered online by schools in the state. A number of prominent Oklahoma colleges and universities have begun to adopt online education as well, including the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Schools with a national presence may be another option for students interested in earning a degree online. Many national online colleges, such as University of Phoenix, Capella University and Kaplan University, offer a wide range of fully-online programs to students in Oklahoma. Some even have physical locations in the state, which may allow students to pursue blended learning options.

Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges in Oklahoma

Accreditation status is an important factor students should be aware of when choosing an online school. Proper accreditation shows that an institution has met certain criteria proving they offer a quality education. Colleges and universities become accredited when a certified private association or agency evaluates their programs and courses. Generally, these agencies are maintained by the Secretary of Education and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Accreditation for many institutions in Oklahoma is handled by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

However, the NCA is not responsible for accrediting all colleges and universities in the state. Some institutions receive their accreditation from different agencies. For example, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education evaluates nursing programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students should research the school they are interested in to ensure that it is properly accredited, or contact a school representative for details.

Oklahoma Online Colleges and Tuition Rates

There is no uniform manner in which colleges and universities charge tuition in the state. Online courses at Oklahoma State University, for instance, all vary in cost and related fees. Rogers State University bills online students by the credit hour, and charges out-of-state students more than state residents. There are also several additional fees associated with taking online courses. The University of Oklahoma charges different rates for in-state and out-of-state students as well, but there is no added fee for enrolling in an online program. To learn more about a specific school's tuition structure, prospective students should contact their admissions office.

Selected Online Degree Programs in Oklahoma

Online Information Technology Degrees in Oklahoma: Undergraduates pursuing an IT degree typically learn about data structures such as lists, stacks, and queues, systems analysis and design, and Web programming. Graduate-level studies tend to focus on advanced software development, organizational IT, data modeling, and enterprise systems architecture. With a degree in information technology, students may qualify to become computer systems analysts, information systems architects, or database managers.

Online Communication Degrees in Oklahoma: In general, online degree programs in communication train students in the fundamentals of writing, including purpose, context, voice, and structure. Courses may also cover conflict resolution, effective interpersonal communication techniques, and how to use media and technology to spread messages. For those interested in more focused study, degree specializations can include emerging media, health care communication, and marketing. Graduates of these programs may be able to work in journalism, public relations, politics, or marketing.

Online Psychology Degrees in Oklahoma: At the undergraduate level, psychology courses emphasize the basics of human thought and behavior such as memory, emotion, learning, and motivation. Other topics may include statistical reasoning, human development, cognitive psychology, and personality theory. Students who wish to practice clinical psychology typically need to earn a graduate degree and the proper licenses. Often, graduate programs focus on areas such as social psychology, survey research, variance and experimental design, and diagnosis and psychopathology. With a degree in psychology, graduates may qualify to become case managers, clinicians, staff psychologists, or directors of health facilities.

Along with these examples, there are a wide range of online programs available to students in Oklahoma. Request information from one of the online schools listed below to learn more.

Sources:
Complete College America, 2011
Complete College America, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
Online College of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 2007
OSU Online, Oklahoma State University, Frequently Asked Questions
Reach Higher, Oklahoma's Degree Completion Program, 2011
Rogers State University, Admissions, Tuition & Feeds, 2013
The University of Oklahoma, College of Liberal Studies, Tuition & Fees, 2013

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