The college classroom is changing. Institutes of higher learning are starting to see a divergence from just high school graduates to more alternative and non-traditional students enrolling for class. Some decided to wait on college after high school to enter the workforce because they can find entry-level jobs requiring just a high school diploma. However, these students are also discovering that experience will only take them so far, while a college degree can open up a more dynamic career path with competitive salaries. Colleges are also seeing adult learners going back to school to learn new skills and keep up with the ever-evolving future of technology.
Nossi College of Art recognized these changes and started to implement online classes in 2011. The online courses focus on the general studies areas of our bachelor degree programs including English, Philosophy, Earth Science, Art History, Math and History.
“When you work 40 plus hours a week, have a family to manage or you have cost issues that do not allow you to drop everything and head to campus, then online classes are the way to get started,” said Laura Medeiros, Nossi’s online coordinator.
Laura recently completed her second Master’s degree. Her focus was in Distance Education, Technology and E-learning, and her knowledge has been instrumental in designing and initiating Nossi’s online classrooms.
When Laura was completing her Master’s degree, she never stepped foot into a classroom, her college was in Maryland and she had teachers from all over the world, from Atlanta to Brazil and South Africa to Germany.
With online courses, students learn more than sitting in a lecture because it’s a hands-on experience through active participation – that is how roll call is taken. Requiring this active participation also helps students engage with the material.
Online bachelor’s degree for hands-on creative degrees like photography, Video and Film, interactive graphic design and illustration are difficult to offer because learning in the studio is very important to each skillset. However, offering the general education courses online saves student commuters time and gas money, and the flexibility of being in your own home makes attending classes easier. “Plus, you can attend class in your underwear and no one will know,” Laura said jokingly.
A college in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been so impressed with the quality of Nossi’s online general education courses that they are asking if their students could join Nossi’s online classroom. After the accrediting agencies favorably approved our request, this new arrangement will begin in January 2014 thanks to Laura’s persistent help and support.