More New Hampshire students are turning to their computers for summer classes, mirroring a broader trend of increasing online enrollment in the state’s university and community college systems.
Summer online enrollment in the Community College System of New Hampshire is up 11 percent over last year, said Shannon Reid, spokeswoman for the system, which includes seven colleges. Earlier this week, Chancellor Ross Gittell announced that systemwide summer enrollment – both traditional and online – had increased 4 percent. The boon is the result of course offerings in high-demand fields and the increased availability of online courses.
While preliminary figures for fall 2014 online enrollment hint at significant increases, hard data won’t be in until the semester begins. Online degree programs have been embraced at different speeds by different schools, but for those colleges that have beefed up programming, staff and academic supports, an online degree is on par with a traditional one. Education leaders have also pushed for better access to college education in the past year, and online classes not only offer students flexibility timewise, but they also cut down on commutes.