COLUMBIA - A $2.5 million investment into the University of Missouri's online program will launch 16 new degree programs. MU says it is responding to new demand for online classes in the state and throughout the country. The program currently has about 66 programs and the new undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and doctorate programs will bring the number to nearly 90.
The money has been collecting in a reserve fund from online tuition the past two decades years. Jim Spain, interim vice provost for e-learning, said they have not yet calculated how long it will take for the new programs to pay out the investment.
"The tuition is the same as regular MU courses, just no extra fees and living expenses," said Spain.
New online programs are a trend in education. MU currently has 9,000 students registered in online programs, 2,000 of those seeking degrees. That includes 48 of the 50 states and 100 of the 114 counties in Missouri.
"One-third of all higher education students in the United States last year took an online course," said Daniel Craig from the College of Education."
Spain said MU's online program has experienced much growth within the last 14 years. Among the programs, the university is also adding 25 new undergraduate online courses that will allow students to take classes with no transfer credit, a new option.
Within the next few years Spain and Craig believe technology will become a larger part of higher education.