The opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree online in Kansas is only expected to grow. As part of the state’s 10-year strategic plan, “Foresight 2020,” each Regents institution is charged with developing a vision for the use of distance learning technology. For an idea of what online learning opportunities currently exist, here’s a look at some of the online bachelor degree programs in Kansas offered by a few of the state’s biggest schools:

Kansas State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 10
  • Fields Offered: Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Human Ecology, Technology and Aviation
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Kansas State University offers several bachelor’s degree completion programs. Areas of study include animal sciences and industry, dietetics, early childhood education, family studies and human services, food science and industry, business, public health nutrition, and technology management. Through the school’s 2+2 Partnerships initiative, students can earn an associate degree through a partner local community or technical college, and then earn a bachelor’s degree completely online from K-State.

K-State’s online courses use a variety of media to make it as much of an interactive experience as possible. Course delivery may include use of the school’s own web-based learning management system, K-State Online; streaming video; listservs; teleconferences; and message boards. Through its online system, students can view course materials and lectures, upload assignments, participate in chat rooms, and find their grades and progress reports. Communication with the instructor is done via email.

Fort Hays State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 22
  • Fields Offered: Education, Business, Healthcare, IT, Justice Studies, Social Sciences, General Studies
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

More than 8,000 students from more than 20 countries make up Fort Hays State University’s virtual student body. Online, there are about 600 courses offered each semester at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. The most popular undergraduate programs include business management, organizational leadership, justice studies, and a Bachelor’s of General Studies. This degree lets students customize a program of study that best meets their needs. Other options include philosophy, sociology, psychology, early childhood education, and medical diagnostic imaging.

Fort Hays’ online bachelor’s programs are ranked among the best in the country by U.S News & World Report, based on such factors as faculty credentials, student engagement and assessment, and student services and technology. The school’s online courses are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Students can stay connected with them via email, phone, or fax. The programs are designed to be as flexible as possible ó students can attend part-time or full-time and can take classes every semester with a break whenever needed.

Washburn University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 5
  • Fields Offered: Criminal Justice, Health Sciences, Human Services, Criminal Justice, Technology Administration
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Washburn University offers a variety of online courses through its Schools of Business, Nursing, and Applied Studies, and the 29 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. For those looking to complete their bachelor’s degree online, the school’s online Partnership for Learning and Networking is a collaborative set of 2+2 baccalaureate degree completion programs. Through it, students can earn an associate degree from a partner community or technical college and then earn their bachelor’s degree fully online from Washburn.

At Washburn, online courses are just as demanding, if not more so, than their on-campus counterparts. Online students access course materials via the Internet using MyWashburn Course Tools or the ANGEL learning management system. These services will also provide them with access to their professors and classmates.

Higher Education in Kansas

Kansas is home to several notable public and private institutions, as well as community colleges, federal and military colleges, and technical schools. The largest overall is the University of Kansas in Lawrence. One of six public universities in the state, it is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report and enrolls more than 28,000 students. Close behind is Kansas State University in Manhattan, the second-largest public university with more than 23,800 students. Wichita State University, Fort Hays State University, Pittsburg State University, and Emporia State University round out the state schools. Other notable institutions in Kansas include Washburn University in Topeka, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top universities in the Midwest.

Online learning opportunities are numerous in the state of Kansas. All six of the state public universities offer some form of distance learning, from bachelor’s degree completion programs to online courses. In addition to online programs and courses, the state’s schools are committed to increasing access to course materials. Wichita State, for example, is one of 27 other schools across the nation providing free access to eTexts, an electronic textbook, as part of the Educause and Internet2 eText pilot.

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