Black Colleges and Universities Are Embracing Distance Education

Distance education, the process of learning through either videoconferencing or the interactive use of the World Wide Web, has become a major force in higher education in the United States. Data collected by the Sloan Consortium finds that almost 3.2 million students were taking at least one online course in the fall of 2005. This was up 33 percent from 2004.

A new survey by the Digital Learning Lab at Howard University finds that 40 of the 103 black colleges surveyed are now offering some distance education classes. In 2006 only 29 black colleges were involved in distance education.

According to the Howard University survey, there are 10 black colleges and universities that have distance education programs in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree taking all, or almost all, of their classes online. There are eight black colleges that offer distance education programs leading to graduate degrees.

Distance education programs for doctoral degree candidates are now available at Howard University (pharmacy), North Carolina A&T State University (technology management), and South Carolina State University (educational administration).