Employers' Perceptions of Online Degree Programs
Judith C. Simon (University of Memphis, USA), Jollean K. Sinclaire (Arkansas State University, USA), Lloyd D. Brooks (University of Memphis, USA) and Ronald B. Wilkes (University of Memphis, USA)
Copyright: © 2009
The opportunities for students to take courses, and entire degree programs, online continue to increase, as many traditional colleges and universities have developed programs to compete with for-profit online schools that have proliferated in recent years. In 2003, The Wall Street Journal reported “an estimated 350,000 students are enrolled in fully online degree programs” (Dunham, 2003). In 2005, it was estimated that “more than 1 million students are seeking degrees entirely via the Web” (Tosto, 2005). According to Eduventures, “growth rates for online higher education greatly exceed those projected for U.S. postsecondary education overall (approximately 2%), positioning online higher education as a major growth engine” (Eduventures, 2007).
Perceptions Of Online Courses And Online Degrees
The quality of education received should be a primary concern for all parties involved. Although some studies of quality have been attempted, most studies to date have focused primarily on perceptions of participants in these programs rather than on others affected by these decisions, such as employers.
Key Terms in this Chapter
On-Campus Course: Course offered wholly or in part on the campus of an educational institution, typically offered in a traditional lecture/discussion environment.
Online Program: A program of studies leading to a degree conferred by an educational institution wherein the majority of courses are online courses.
On-Campus Degree Program: A program of studies leading to a degree conferred by an educational institution wherein the majority of courses are on-campus courses.
Accreditation: A designation intended to indicate programs that meet specific standards; two general types of accreditation are institutional and programmatic, with coordination of programs in the U.S. by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
Distance Learning: Characterized by learning through audiovisual delivery of instruction that is transmitted to one or more other locations that may be live or recorded instruction but does not require physical presence of an instructor and students in the same location.
Online Course: May be either a fully online course (content, orientation, and assessments are delivered via the Internet and students interact with faculty and possibly with one another through online technology) or a hybrid online course (some activities online and some on the traditional campus).
Human Resources (HR) Professionals: Employees of organizations handling various personnel issues, whose jobs may include hiring responsibilities.