The Sloan Consortium’s recent report titled “Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006” notes that online enrollments have been growing substantially faster than the overall higher education student body over the past several years
Here are some other points made in the report:
>> Nearly 3.2 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2005 term — a substantial increase over the 2.3 million reported the previous year.
>> Online students tend to be older and often hold additional employment and family responsibilities, as compared to more traditional students.
>> Online students, like the overall student body, are overwhelmingly undergraduates. The proportion of graduate-level students is slightly higher in online education relative to the overall higher education population.
>> Online students, especially undergraduates, are more likely to be studying at associates’ institutions than are their face-toface contemporaries.
>> More than 96 percent of the very largest institutions (more than 15,000 total enrollments) have some online offerings, which is more than double the rate observed for the smallest institutions.
>> The proportion of institutions with fully online programs rises steadily as institutional size increases, and about two-thirds of the very largest institutions have fully online programs, compared to only about one-sixth of the smallest institutions.
>> Doctoral/research institutions have the greatest penetration of offering online programs as well as the highest overall rate (more than 80 percent) of having some form of online offering (either courses or full programs)