Thursday, June 05, 2014

Distance Education by State

How much is distance education disrupting traditional educational institutions? A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics begins to answer this question. The report examines student enrollment in distance education by state and finds wide variation—meaning that distance education may be more disruptive in some states than others. The NCES defines distance education as "education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor."

Among the nation's 21 million college students in 2012, 12 percent were enrolled exclusively in distance education and another 13 percent were taking some but not all of their courses at a distance. The percentage of students at four-year schools who are enrolled exclusively in distance education is 7 percent at public institutions, 12 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and fully 61 percent at private for-profit schools. Although most distance education students are taking courses from institutions in their state of residence, many are not—especially distance students enrolled in private, for-profit schools.

The report is "intended to provide a useful baseline for tracking trends" and includes estimates by state of the percentage of students involved in distance education (exclusively, partially, or not at all) by type of college (less than two-year, two-year, four-year, graduate school, public, private nonprofit, or private for-profit) and by whether the distance education source is in-state or out-of-state.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Enrollment in Distance Education Courses, by State: Fall 2012

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