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K-State offers multiple distance learning degrees

By Jennifer Newberry


Students who want to get a degree without attending on-campus classes can find it's possible through Kansas State University's Division of Continuing Education.

The division helps coordinate distance education for nine bachelor's and 14 master's degree programs, as well as several certificate and endorsement programs.

While K-State has been involved with distance education for at least three decades, distance education has really taken off within the past decade, said Betty Stevens, associate vice provost for technology partnerships and associate dean of continuing education. She credits the growing popularity of distance education to advancements in technology and software.

"Opportunities are unlimited at this point," she said. "Students and potential students are so comfortable with these types of technology that they expect multimedia course support even for on-campus courses."

Distance education came about at K-State because of the university's mission as a land-grant institution to extend knowledge of university faculty to the public, in addition to students. K-State is sensitive to the needs of the broader community, Stevens said.

"I think distance education offers people access to excellent programs offered by K-State that they wouldn't otherwise have access to," she said. "They either can't go away to college or are bound by work, family or other personal circumstances. Distance education provides a learning option. K-State is a nationally recognized university and has outstanding programs at an affordable cost."

Students who use distance education to get their degree are eligible for the same types of jobs that students in the same degree programs on-campus are, Stevens said. Many distance education students already have jobs, but are hoping to get promoted or advance in their profession. Completing their degree through distance education courses allows them to work at their own pace and schedule, she said.

Bachelor's degrees available through distance education include animal sciences and industry, animal products option; dietetics; early childhood education; food science and industry, food business and operations, management option; food science and industry, science option; general business; interdisciplinary social science; technology management; and bachelor's degree completion program.

Master's degrees available through distance education include agribusiness, community development, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, engineering management, mechanical engineering, software engineering, food science and industry, gerontology, industrial and organizational psychology, merchandising, personal financial planning and youth development.

Twelve certificate and endorsement programs are available, including academic advising graduate certificate, early childhood administration credential, early childhood endorsement, engineering professional development hours, English as a second language endorsement in elementary and secondary education, food science graduate certificate, food science nondegree undergraduate certificate, gerontology graduate certificate, merchandising graduate certificate, occupational health psychology certificate, personal financial planning certificate and youth development graduate certificate.

K-State also may soon offer one or two doctoral degrees, in history or military history, through distance education, Stevens said.

Distance education students can receive financial aid assistance and scholarships, too. For information regarding financial aid, call K-State student financial assistance at 1-877-817-2287 or 785-532-6420 or check out the office's Web site at http://www.k-state.edu/sfa/ for additional information or online applications for financial aid or scholarships.

For additional information regarding distance education, visit the Division of Continuing Education's Web site at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/ or call 1-877-528-6105 or 785-532-5686.


Winter 2005