After years of bad news, the Louisiana career market is coming back from its low point during the Great Recession. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the two sectors that have seen the largest gains in employment are education and health services. In fact, both of these sectors have added jobs every month since October 2006.
Students in the state have the opportunity, through online colleges in Louisiana, to earn the skills that remain in demand as the economy changes. This modern, self-directed educational model provides a way for even the busiest aspiring professionals to pursue a college degree or technical certificate at their own pace, whenever they have time to spare.
Online Education Resources for Students in Louisiana
Louisiana students seeking information about online college programs might not need to look any further than the admissions offices of their state's most well-known universities. Historic institutions from coast to coast are waking up to the online revolution in education, and many Louisiana colleges are among them, including:
- Louisiana Tech University
- Louisiana State University
- McNeese State University
- Northwestern State University
- University of New Orleans
- University of Louisiana at Monroe
Along with the multiple universities in-state that feature distance learning options, many nationwide online colleges offer degree programs to students in Louisiana. Some even have physical locations in the state. At those locations, students may be able to pursue hybrid learning programs, which combine virtual coursework with hands-on classroom sessions.
Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges in Louisiana
Students who have already looked into online schools in Louisiana have no doubt become aware of the concept of accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education sanctions particular regional or national agencies to oversee educational standards at all types of schools. When an institution meets these standards, it becomes accredited. Along with helping ensure a quality education, accreditation influences whether the credits a student earns at one school may be transferred to another.
The regional accrediting body that oversees most online programs at Louisiana's home universities is known as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. An online school that operates in Louisiana but has campuses in other regions may fall under the jurisdiction of an accreditation agency with national scope.
Louisiana Online Colleges and Tuition Rates
Tuition rates for online schools in Louisiana can vary greatly from program to program, depending on the institution and the subject studied. It's usually advisable to earn Louisiana residency before applying to most state schools, since in-state tuition is often significantly less expensive than the nonresident rate. Tuition may be charged per class, per credit hour, or per semester in some rare cases. Because every school is different, it is a good idea to speak with an admissions counselor before beginning the application process.
Selected Online Degree Programs in Louisiana
Online Nursing Degrees in Louisiana: While registered nurse (RN) and licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN) programs still conduct the clinical portion of their training in a face-to-face environment, there may be an online component to the coursework. Nurses who have already earned an RN, LPN or LVN license may choose to take their education to the next level with a bachelor's of science in nursing at many online schools in Louisiana.
Online Radiology Degrees in Louisiana: Similar to candidates for online nursing degrees, students seeking continued education in radiologic technology must undergo face-to-face clinical training and become ARRT Registered Radiologic Technologists. Once registered as professionals, they can enter online radiology programs at Northwestern State University or the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Online Teaching Degrees in Louisiana: The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) offers an online bachelor's degree in elementary education, and education master's degrees are available online at ULM, Northwestern State University, New Orleans University and elsewhere. Online bachelor's degrees in history, English, math and other secondary subjects, which can be combined with a teaching certificate or postgraduate work in education, can be found throughout the state as well.
Online degrees in Louisiana don't stop there. Students can now find programs in a wide range of fields, including criminal justice, psychology, engineering, business administration and many more.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition: Registered Nurses, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
- eLearning / Online Programs - Louisiana State University-Eunice, http://www.lsue.edu/elearning
- eNSU, Northwestern State University, http://ensu.nsula.edu/
- Online Learning at UNO, The University of New Orleans, http://www.uno.edu/onlinelearning/
- Louisiana Workforce Commission, http://www.laworks.net/downloads/lmi/lmibulletin.pdf
- University of Louisiana System, Online Degree Programs, http://www.ulsystem.edu/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home&nid=85&pnid=69&pid=238&fmid=0&catid=0&elid=0
- U.S. Department of Education, Accreditation in the United States, Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies, http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg5.html