August 13, 2013
As the popularity of online courses has grown in recent years, many colleges and universities have begun frantically trying to create a larger online presence. While some schools are just beginning to explore online education, Framingham State University has been a leader in the field for the past 15 years.
On average each semester, the offices of Graduate and Continuing Education offer 60 online and 25 hybrid courses in 18 different subject areas. Students can pursue bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and graduate certificates.
“We recognized the potential of online learning very early on,” says Dr. Scott Greenberg, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Continuing Education. “As technologies have improved over time and courses have been refined to meet national standards, we’ve been able to develop some outstanding programs.”
Framingham State’s online offerings include master’s degrees in education, with concentrations in Curriculum and Instructional Technology, STEM Education, Nutrition Education, and Elementary Education. The University offers a hybrid MBA program, a hybrid master of science in Nursing (MSN), a bachelor of arts in Liberal Studies and many more.
Melissa Mullen is enrolled in the University’s hybrid MSN program, which meets half time online and half the time in person. She says the flexibility of the program is crucial, since she works full-time.
“Online education gives me the freedom to do my coursework from anywhere,” Mullen says. “I can be at home, at work, or even sitting in a coffee shop on my smartphone. Being able to travel anywhere and still be connected to the materials I need allows my dream of getting my master’s degree to become a reality.”
The University takes a great deal of pride in the quality of its online course offerings. In spring 2011, FSU adopted the Quality Matters Program, which provides faculty support to re-design online and blended courses according to national standards for excellence.
“Participation in the Quality Matters program helped me create an online experience for my students that enables them to engage with the material and with each other, even though they never meet in person,” says Biology Professor Dr. Aline Davis.
Enrollment in Framingham State’s online program has increased as the quality and convenience of an online education has risen. From spring 2010 to spring 2013, undergraduate enrollment in online courses grew 25 percent, from 569 to 709.
“Online education is a big part of our academic offerings at Framingham State,” says Director of Education and Interactive Technologies Robin Robinson. “We expect it to continue growing moving forward.”
The University offers online student orientation programs for those planning to enroll in their first online course. Our next orientation is on Wednesday, August 28, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the McCarthy Center. We invite you to become a part of our online community – learn more at www.framingham.edu/online-learning/.
About Framingham State University
Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a public university, Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.