Education says online classes are becoming more common

Education says online classes are becoming more common

Online education is now offered at more than 56 percent of the nation's two- and four-year colleges and universities, with distance learning beginning to extend to high schools and lower, the Education Department said Friday.

In 1995, 33 percent of higher-learning institutions provided distance education.

Public institutions offered courses over the Internet at a much higher rate than private colleges and universities, said the report, Distance Education at Degree-Granting Post-secondary Institutions, 2000-2001. About 90 percent of public two- and four-year colleges hosted Internet courses, while 40 percent of private four-year and 16 percent of two-year institutions did the same.

'We'll continue to see an upward trend. Not only at the postsecondary level, but we're seeing it in K-12, too," said John Bailey, director of the department's Education Technology Office.

The study covered two- and four-year colleges and universities participating in Title IV federal student aid programs, which are accredited by an organization recognized by Education.

To read the report, go to nces.ed.gov/pubs2003/2003017.pdf.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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