Arizona is one of many states that have joined the move toward providing more opportunities for adult and distance learners via online delivery. From nursing degrees to engineering, nearly every type of program is offered over the Web by a school in the state. Here are three schools in Arizona with a wide range of online programs from which students can choose:

Northern Arizona University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 43
  • Fields Offered: Administration, Business, Communication, Computing and Technology, Education, Health Professions, Hospitality, Humanities and Arts, Management, Mathematics and Science, Recreation, Social Sciences
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

The Northern Arizona University Extended Campus provides both synchronous and asynchronous online course formats, as well as hybrid classes. Synchronous online material requires live interactivity, including course discussion groups, live video, or regular online meeting times. Asynchronous course material does not require students to log in at a specific time and allows students to post comments, take exams, and submit assignments at any time during the day. Assignments still have due dates in asynchronous courses, though log-in time or frequency is not a requirement. Northern Arizona University offers online courses through Blackboard Learn, where students log in to turn in assignments, take tests, and access additional course materials. Northern Arizona University offers several bachelor’s degree programs, including bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, criminal justice, emergency services administration, medical assisting, paramedic care, and technology management.

Arizona State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 34
  • Fields Offered: Art & Design, Business, Communication, Engineering, Interdisciplinary Studies, Letters & Sciences, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Nursing & Health Innovation, Nutrition & Health Promotion, Public Programs, Technology & Innovation
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

Arizona State University course materials are presented through Google’s Apps for Education as MyASU. Through MyASU, students can access video lectures, course calendars, syllabi, and other class resources. Students may expect to spend six hours a week on course work for every course credit in a 7.5-week session. Arizona State University offers online bachelor’s degree programs in areas including art history, liberal studies, business communication, engineering management, family and human development, health sciences, history, justice studies, psychology, Spanish, and technical communication.

Grand Canyon University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 27
  • Fields Offered: Business & Leadership, Teaching & Education Administration, Psychology & Counseling, Health Care, Nursing, Theology & Youth Ministry, Health Sciences & Pre-Med, Performing Arts & Digital Design, Liberal Arts
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)

Grand Canyon University is a four-year, private, for-profit university based in Phoenix, Ariz. Its seven colleges offer several online bachelor’s degree programs in areas including early childhood education, digital film, Christian studies, history, justice studies, sociology, psychology, health care administration, accounting, marketing, and business management. Online degree programs require a minimum of 10 hours and as much as 25 hours per week and are offered asynchronously 24/7. GCU offers online education courses one at a time through a GCU account where students access the course syllabus, discussion boards, a digital drop-box for assignment submission, and staff information. GCU also boasts small class sizes and full-time online faculty.

Higher Education in Arizona

The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACPE) is the responsible body for higher education in Arizona. The ACPE provides financial assistance, implements strategies for admission and success in postsecondary education, and aids postsecondary education sector collaboration. The ACPE administers more than 5,800 state and federal grants and raises, between $190,000 and $250,000 annually for donations, sales, and grants. Additionally, Arizona has been a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) since 1952.

The WICHE initiated the Internet Course Exchange (ICE), which comprises member institutions and systems with distance-delivered course procedures, policies, and support systems within two- and four-year institutions. Several Arizona institutions also participate in the WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies (WCET), which aims to accelerate technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. In addition to the above schools, public postsecondary institutions in Arizona include 11 community college districts and two tribal community colleges.


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