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.
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