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Florida Community College an Online Innovator

Gulf Coast Community College has seen a dramatic increase in online learning, which is has developed through the gradual development of online courses now numbering over one thousand. The school is now taking the next step, enrolling students for the upcoming spring semester for six fully online degree programs.

The impressive aspect of this step is the degree programs they have chosen for online distribution. Five of the six are "transfer tracks," associate's degree programs designed to provide the credits to move into a bachelor's program upon completion. Two of the programs are for students who want to complete a special education or an elementary school teaching degree. Graduates from these programs will have the "core courses" for these teaching degrees out of the way so that they can focus on the curriculum courses for these teaching professions and move into a student teaching program.

A third transfer track degree coming online this spring is in social studies education, also a field where students have to prep for both curriculum and teaching skills prior to taking on a student teacher role. In addition Gulf Coast CC will be offering online programs for a psychology degree and a history degree. All of these could be applied to the pursuit of professional opportunities in education, an employment sector plagued by chronic shortages of qualified personnel.

The school's plans for future online degrees turn the focus to business. Included in the near term plans are online versions of the accounting degree, the computer science degree and a business administration degree.

All of these are excellent choices for the budget conscious student who knows his or her goal for a bachelor's degree. The Gulf Coast CC computer science degree will provide two years of solid groundwork for majors in many of the offshoots from computer science including network analysis and information security.

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