On-Line Classes at Mississippi College Offer Convenience and Quality
May 29, 2014
On-line classes at Mississippi College are enjoying a growth spurt.
MC students are signed up for such on-line degree classes as nursing, communications, homeland security, teaching arts, health services administration, loss prevention and paralegal studies. Master’s programs in athletic administration and higher education are among the others.
Starting in August, the newest addition will be the MC School of Business offering its bachelor’s in business administration in a variety of formats, including on-line.
“The expectations for all classes regardless of their format will be the same and provide our students with the quality business education over which we have built our strong reputation,” says Marcelo Eduardo, dean of the School of Business.
School of Business courses will be offered in the Accelerated Degree Program format, hybrid programs mixing in-class and on-line, and traditional lectures in Self Hall on the Clinton campus.
Nationwide, on-line classes conveniently fit the lifestyles of many college students and are seeing dramatic growth.
There were more than 6.7 million college students taking at least one on-line class in Fall 2011 or one-third of the enrollment, reports the Babson Survey Research Group in Massachusetts. That’s up by 560,000 students over 2010. The numbers have surged since 1.6 million college students enrolled in on-line classes in 2002.
“I am very excited about our on-line degree program development,” says MC Graduate School Dean Debbie Norris. “We are providing students exposure to the quality programs at Mississippi College from areas they may not have known about us otherwise.”
Digital instruction is attracting Mississippi College students from all over the Magnolia State and across its borders.
MC Health Services Administration Director Melanie Fortenberry reports 56 students are enrolled in her programs this summer.
That includes 39 students in traditional classrooms, and 17 others taking on-line courses, including six from outside metro Jackson, she said. They live in Mississippi cities like Saltillo, Hattiesburg, Natchez and Oxford. The others are from Texas and Wisconsin. The Wisconsin student is a Baylor University graduate from Clinton doing his medical residency in the Dairy State.
Interaction between student and professor can be strong despite long distances. “I try to build a sense of community with on-line students and begin with a getting to know you exercise,” Fortenberry said. “They post photos and identify what their lives are like outside of class.”
Posting photos, she says, brings home the point that “we are interacting with people, not just typed messages.”
Fortenberry typically reads posts of her on-line students four days a week. She meets face to face with traditional students in lecture halls once a week.
During the Spring 2015 semester, Mississippi College will offer another new on-line graduate program. It will be a master’s in health informatics.
Photo: School of Business Dean Marcelo Eduardo