dcsimg
You are here:

Harvard University Opens its Doors to Online Education

Maybe you have to be on the right mailing list, but it came as news to me the other day when I learned that one of the thirteen colleges on the Harvard campus is the Harvard University Extension School. It has apparently been in existence for close to a century, focusing on continuing education but also offering an interesting selection of both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

One of the major initiatives at the Harvard Extension School this year is a push into online education.�� There are over 100 distance learning options in the 2009 -2010 Harvard Extension catalogue.�� Much of the material for these courses is prepared by Harvard professors, and the educational presentations include videotaped lectures from the faculty along with scheduled assignments to be completed online.�� There is also an established method for interacting with fellow online students and to a limited extent, with faculty.

Old School Online Degrees

There are a large number of established and respected universities that are rolling out online programs; at the moment every brick and mortar school has its own rules and in most cases, the traditional universities have a catch.�� The degree programs offered are limited, or the educational offerings are for continuing education purposes, or the courses are meant to augment learning opportunities for on-campus students. ��But there are dozens of schools booting up online capabilities; a handful of examples includes Boston University, Penn State, Stanford, even the Ivy League's Cornell University - all are employing distance learning techniques.

So when the nation's finest and oldest university chooses to deploy online learning choices, it's further evidence that the technology works and works well for education.�� What was at first reluctant participation in distance education, disparaged as inadequate by many a tenured Ph.D, is now blossoming on many NCAA servers.�� One of the practical elements that traditional schools have finally recognized is that a virtual classroom has no limitation on chairs, and therefore no limitation on students.�� It's a cheaper way of teaching and according to the U.S. Department of Education, it's often more effective than classroom work.

Harvard Eases into the Current

Higher education is mired in tradition, and Harvard may hold top honors in that category as well.�� The University is offering a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees incorporating their online program, but you cannot - yet - earn a degree from Harvard entirely through distance learning.�� Online degree programs have varying requirements for taking a minimum number of courses on the Harvard campus, ranging from a single course to two semester's worth.

You thought it was Ivy League education for the rest of us, right?�� Not quite yet.�� To the school's credit, they do try to mollify the campus requirement by noting that their extension courses and degrees have "competitive" tuition rates, and that during the summer session there is often reasonable housing available on campus.�� But Harvard, like many universities, is proceeding into the virtual dimension with caution, because - well, because until very recently unless it was done with a classroom and a chalkboard, it simply wasn't done.�� Not so anymore; what we're seeing is another university taking a first step towards the inevitable.

Online Education Comes of Age

Perhaps the salient point of this tale is the fact that online education is rolling through the country's traditional universities like a tsunami.�� Before it's over, distance learning may be a partial solution to college tuition's that are in the stratosphere because it's often cheaper to teach a course online than in a classroom

The other notion that this digital revolution brings to mind is that some belated recognition is due the schools that have been scorned, the Kaplan's and Capella's of this world.�� Their teaching methodology has evolved through many stages - at the moment, they know a lot more about delivering distance education that sticks to the mind than the schools that send their graduates off to Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

Search Schools

      
Matching School Ads
  • Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

    Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

    You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

    Programs

    • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
    Location:
    Boston: 300 The Fenway,, Boston MA 02115
    Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences Request Info »
  • Colorado Technical University Online

    A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

    Programs

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Management
    • Master of Science in Information Technology - Network Management
    • More...
    Location:
    Colorado Springs: 4435 North Chestnut Street, Colorado Springs CO 80907
    Colorado Technical University Online Request Info »
  • Regent University

    Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

    Programs

    • Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Self-Designed
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Regent University Request Info »
  • Keiser University

    Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

    Programs

    • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology
    • Master of Science in Education
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Keiser University Request Info »
  • MSW@Denver

    MSW@Denver is an online Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW).

    Programs

    • Master of Social Work (MSW)
    Location:
    Denver: , Denver CO 80208
    MSW@Denver Request Info »
  • Miller-Motte College

    Start the next chapter of your life with an Associate or Bachelor degree from Miller-Motte College Online Division.

    Programs

    • Criminal Justice - Associate of Applied Science
    • Electronic Medical Records - Associate of Applied Science
    • IT Support Specialist - Associate of Applied Science
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Miller-Motte College Request Info »
  • Rutgers University

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

    Programs

    • Online Master of Social Work
    • Online Master of Business Administration
    • Online Master of Information
    • More...
    Location:
    New Brunswick: 57 U.S. 1,, New Brunswick NJ 08901
    Rutgers University Request Info »
  • Abilene Christian University

    Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership - Digital Learning Track
    • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy - Treatment of Trauma
    • Master of Marriage and Family Therapy - specialization in Medical Family Therapy
    • More...
    Location:
    Abilene: 600 Campus Ct,, Abilene TX 79601
    Abilene Christian University Request Info »
  • Jacksonville University

    The University

    With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

    Programs

    • MSN Leadership in Healthcare Systems
    • Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
    • RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Educator
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Jacksonville University Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing

    Programs

    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Location:
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd,, Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.