For prospective students interested in earning a bachelors degree online in Pennsylvania, approximately 100 four-year colleges and universities offer at least some distance learning opportunities. These include Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University, and Duquesne University, among others. These schools make it possible for students in the state with busy schedules to still take advantage of the fine degrees they offer. Read on for a glimpse of the state of online bachelor’s degree programs in Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 16
  • Fields Offered: Communications, Criminal Justice, Economics, Technology, Labor Studies, Law, Humanities, Nursing, Business, Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences
  • Accreditor: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS)

Pennsylvania State University is one of the largest schools in the region, with more than 86,000 students across all its campuses. Options for distance learners through the famous World Campus range from online bachelors degree programs in business topics like advertising, organizational leadership, and employment relations to nursing, psychology, and family studies. These options provide working adults and other nontraditional students the ability to earn their degree and learn from the same instructors as on-campus students. The majority of classes operate in an asynchronous format, meaning students are free to log in and work on their studies on their own timetable, as long as they meet weekly deadlines.

Most assignments can be turned in through the virtual learning platform. In the case of exams, these will need to be taken through an approved university proctor. A variety of locations are available to ensure convenient access for testing. Students may also utilize Skype, Elluminate Live, email, and discussion forums to communicate and collaborate with their peers and professors on group projects and presentations. Should students need additional assistance on the technical side, a fully-staffed help desk is available to guide them.

Drexel University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 14
  • Fields Offered: Business, Communications, Criminal Justice, Education, Interdisciplinary Studies, Information Science, Healthcare, Social Science, Technology
  • Accreditor: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS)

Drexel University is a private not-for-profit institution located in Philadelphia, serving nearly 25,000 students. In recent years, the school has also risen as a leader in the world of online education. In fact, several of the school’s online graduate’s degree programs have earned recognition from U.S. News & World Report in areas such as student engagement and assessment, and student services and technology.

Bachelor’s degree programs are available in subjects ranging from education to healthcare. Classes run in an asynchronous format, allowing students to work on assignments, readings, and discussion board posts, as their busy work and family schedules permit. Most written assignments and quizzes can be submitted through the virtual learning platform. In other cases, such as group projects or presentations, students may use media like virtual meeting software and video chat. For those curious about how the online classroom works, Drexel provides a demo outlining the basics.

Duquesne University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 5
  • Fields Offered: Leadership, Business, Computer Technology
  • Accreditor: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS)

Those interested in accredited online bachelors degree programs in Pennsylvania will also want to consider Duquesne University. This private not-for-profit school based in Pittsburgh serves just more than 10,000 students, including a growing number of distance learners. Online programs are available through the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement in the areas of behavioral science, computer systems technology, humane leadership, organizational leadership, and professional communication. These are ideal for working adults, military students, or those trying to balance family responsibilities.

Online students are free to log in to the virtual classroom, review materials, access course readings, and participate in discussions according to the schedule that works best for them. Professors are available via email, chat, or sometimes over the telephone, should students need additional assistance. The majority of written assignments are submitted through document upload or email. For group projects or presentations, video or virtual meeting technologies may be used to facilitate the learning process.

Higher Education in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has a population of more than 12.7 million people. In addition, the state boasts a number of well-respected colleges and universities. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is the cornerstone of public education in the state, operating 14 institutions. Some of the state’s most notable schools include Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburgh. Students can also choose from among a number of community colleges and technical schools in the area.

Higher education in the state of Pennsylvania is also sustained by its 16 virtual schools, which provide online learning options for K-12 students. For example, PA Virtual Charter School is a free cyber school that serves more than 3,400 students throughout the state. These types of programs help teach young students the importance of independence and technology in education. This can help them as they pursue higher education, possibly even through continued online study, at one of the state’s many colleges or universities.

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