Online availability of nine general education courses offers a convenient option for students starting college or preparing for a career change while in the workforce.
Cleveland University-Kansas City's latest move to expand health care career options gives current and prospective students a convenient way to complete their general education requirements: online. The announcement was made by Dr. Cheryl Carpenter-Davis, Dean of the College of Health Sciences.
Nine of the University's "gen ed" classes – those needed before being accepted into the new A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology and A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree programs – are available in an online format for the term beginning in January 2018.
According to Sarah Shelnutt, coordinator of undergraduate and online education, the courses also are a good fit for those who want to pick up college credits while still in high school, planning a career change, or want to get a head start in college coursework while in a current job.
"We know many students enjoy the flexibility that online classes present," she said. "We've made the quality of these classes our highest priority."
Shelnutt said CUKC is using experienced instructors with proven online teaching experience to ensure knowledge gained in a student's online class learning is equal to that of an on-campus class. Continual checks with online instructors are part of the online delivery evaluation process.
The nine general education courses offered online beginning Jan. 1, 2018:
- BIOL 250: Anatomy & Physiology I
- BIOL 251: Anatomy & Physiology II
- COMM 201: Communication & Diversity
- HSIC 102: Health Science Terminology
- MATH 110: Intermediate Algebra
- PSYC 110: General Psychology
- SOCI 110: General Sociology
- SOCI 110: Race & Ethnicity
- SPCH 101: Speech
Of particular significance is the online Anatomy and Physiology class, which students traditionally need for pre-med, pre-chiropractic, and pre-dentistry programs.
Carpenter-Davis said students should remember that online courses are, by design, just as rigorous as on-ground courses. Online class instructors use the same standard learning outcomes documents and textbooks as on-campus class instructors.
Before the online classes are put on the schedule, the content is reviewed to make sure it meets CUKC expectations and complies with those of the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting agency for CUKC. Cleveland University-Kansas City also is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). That organization oversees the delivery of postsecondary distance education across the U.S.
Of the 20.4 million students attending a U.S. college in 2017, more than six million will choose one or more online classes. The percentage of those taking classes online has been increasing about four percent a year since 2012, according to an annual survey conducted by Babson Survey Research Group.
The expansion of online classes for general education requirements follows the Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion, which began online in Fall 2016. Both moves are aligned with the CUKC Centennial 2022 strategic plan.
"We're excited to bring these classes to a wider audience beyond our campus," said Alex Bach, vice president of enrollment management. "Our goal is to grow CUKC in its leadership in chiropractic and health sciences. Meeting student expectations through online offerings is one way we're doing precisely that."
The online gen ed courses are only the first step in the expansion the online strategy set by CUKC. Other humanities classes are being prepared for online delivery as well as other life sciences courses.