Survey shows growing support for online education in California

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, June 7, 2013

For Steven Ancheta, the time is long past for more arguments about online education's merits and convenience.

The West Covina resident, who is enrolled in a fully online program for a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University, praised the experience and the chance for working people to take evening or weekend classes.

His positive view about online education was strongly supported in a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Among the registered voters who participated in the survey, 59% said they agreed with the idea that increasing the number of online classes at California's public universities will make education more affordable and accessible. However, 34% expressed fears that expanding online classes will reduce access to professors, diminish the value of college degrees and not save money.

For Ancheta, 21, an accounts manager at a telephone company who participated in the poll, the scheduling freedom of online classes "is a very pleasant alternative." Moreover, he said, "You can pull away the exact same amount of knowledge you can pull away from a traditional classroom."

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