There are a lot of exciting things happening in Distance Education at BRTC and I am pleased to share with you some of the projects we are currently undertaking, our goals for this year, as well as a glimpse into our enrollment numbers over the past five years.
Our four-week online course pilot program is underway, with the first batch of courses completed early January and the second beginning this week. These courses provide students the perfect opportunity to pick up extra hours or expedite graduation.
The following classes are offered for these slots during the spring term:
- January 13th – February 9th: Freshman English I; World Civ Since 1660
- February 10th – March 9th: Fine Arts Musical; Freshman English II
- March 10th – April 13th: Anthropology; Psychology
- April 14th – May 6th: College Algebra; World Literature I
There have been a few hiccups, but we anticipate the completion of our new DE office and instructional media studio early this spring. The instructional media studio will allow us to create quality audio and video in a controlled environment for our online and hybrid instructors. Among the items on our equipment list are professional microphones, a semi-professional digital camcorder, studio lighting, and an iMac with appropriate software that is capable of producing high grade digital audio and video productions.
Currently, BRTC does not offer a degree that is entirely online, although we are close. One of our top priorities this year is to make the Associate of Arts in General Education available completely online. Currently, we only lack three courses to make this happen: Physical Science, Biology, and Oral Communication. We will be working with departments and instructors to ensure that we can place these courses online soon and allow students (and prospective students) in our area and beyond a chance to complete a program without having to step foot in a classroom.
Although the number of online seats (online enrollment) has recently peaked, we have grown significantly over the past five years and still holding strong. Since 2009, online seats have increased by 48%, as illustrated in the graph below.
We hope to see a significant growth as we place more classes online and prepare to offer BRTC’s first fully online two-year degree.
I appreciate the instructors and administrators who have helped our online and hybrid programs grow and hope to continue to work with those old and new to improve and expand distance education offerings at BRTC.