President Eric Barron, Jeffrey Kidder, & SARA Head to Saint Leo University’s Online Home at Tampa to Speak on the Opportunity.
Students Who Attend Saint Leo University Center For Online Learning
A growing crop of online learning options is opening up the doors to new learning options to college students. Some schools are promoting their online options as in-person offering, while others are emphasizing distance learning. However, all schools are making the effort to offer higher education to its community.
At Saint Leo University (OU) (Foundation: STL) the focus is online learning. Through their online courses, students are able to take classes from their convenience and learn from instructors as if they were on campus.
Some institutions may have established early leadership in online learning. This is not true at Saint Leo University, as the institution was founded by St. Laurence College (later known as Saint Laurence College before it consolidated with Saint Leo University in 1975). Saint Laurence College started out in the 1920s as one of the top colleges for the Sisters of Mercy, at the behest of the Sisters of Mercy’s vision. The school soon transitioned into a university and in 1923 moved to its current campus in Gainesville, FL, where the school is currently located.
Saint Laurence College began offering evening classes in 1918. By 1916 the school officially converted to a residential college, and the college nearly doubled the size of its campus to 26 acres by 1967. During the 1940s, the college changed over from non-sectarian to Catholic, and in 1956 a building that had housed some of the largest boarding schools was added to campus.
Online courses are part of the educational landscape, but schools have to be able to prove they have a scalable model, offering courses for specific skill sets, in order to attract prospective students. That being said, online options have some distinct advantages. For one, students can take college courses at their own pace, with their own comfort and schedules. They can easily find the classes they need online, and they can start learning when they have time. It is free to take online courses, which presents a huge benefit to students.
Online courses can also open doors to flexible academic schedules. This all comes down to learning styles, and to finding the course that fits a student’s own schedule best. Students who take online courses can be on campus more often, and may take one online class at a time. Students have the ability to switch courses to a less expensive track. Additionally, students can take online courses and switch to on-campus classes at their convenience, providing a seamless transition. In addition, the graduation rate for online classes is almost five times higher than those taking traditional on-campus classes.
Traditional in-person colleges and universities are going to try and adapt to new technological changes, as most institutions have to. Saint Leo University is interested in the success of their students, and they see a larger market ahead of them through online learning. While not a charter university, Saint Leo is a fast growing university and is a very attractive institution to students. While enrollment for 2017 is not available, Saint Leo has seen enrollment increase significantly over the last decade.
Online classes have played a big role in lowering costs at Saint Leo. The traditional degree program, taught on campus, can cost anywhere from $41,000 to $65,000. With online courses, that figure goes down to the very low $35,000 range. Online courses also have the benefit of allowing for other programs such as professional studies.
Within the next few years, online courses will be a vast increase in the number of students attending an institution like Saint Leo University. With a campus with 28 buildings and a campus with a strong brand name, Saint Leo University is an institution people want to be a part of. The online learning option is one that will help open new doors to career opportunities and more choices for students.