Founded in 1910, Arkansas State University is a public, four-year institution with campuses located in Jonesboro, Beebe, Newport, and Mountain Home. The main campus in Jonesboro has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1928 and current serves more than 13,000 students. The school also offers a number of online degrees in areas such as business, education, interdisciplinary studies, nursing, and public administration. Online students will access assignments, complete interactive exercises, and participate in discussion groups through a advanced virtual learning platform. The school’s online business degree programs were ranked No. 1 for faculty credentials and training and No. 9 for student engagement and accreditation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the online graduate-level education programs at Arkansas State were among the top 30 for admissions selectivity.
The University of Arkansas is a public, land-grant institution established in 1871 in Fayetteville. The school also operates campuses in Little Rock, Monticello, Pine Bluff, and Fort Smith. The main campus has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1924 and currently has an enrollment of more than 21,000 students. To serve the diverse needs of a growing student population and take advantage of the latest technological advances, the school also has a number of online degree programs available. The University of Arkansas online offers distance learning courses in agriculture, education, engineering, human resources, and nursing. The university’s online engineering degree programs were ranked among the top 50 schools for student services and technology and faculty credentials and training by U.S. News & World Report in 2011.
Originally established as Arkansas State Normal School in 1907, the University of Central Arkansas is located in Conway. The school has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1931 and currently serves a student population of more than 11,000 learners. To expand their reach and benefit from the latest technology, the school is also one of a number of universities in Arkansas offering online courses. Available areas of study include business, education, and criminal justice. Students will utilize Blackboard, one of the industry’s leading virtual learning platforms, to complete course assignments, interact with peers, and receive feedback from their instructors.
A growing number of online colleges and universities, as well as traditional schools, are taking advantage of the latest technological advances in interactive learning environments to provide non-traditional students and working adults the opportunity to further their education in a flexible and affordable way. Most online classes are set up in an asynchronous format, meaning students are in charge of when and where they choose to log in and work on their assignments. This offers maximum flexibility for students who are working and trying to balance family responsibilities at the same time. Depending on the specific program and the school’s requirements, students may be required to complete some on-campus components or report to authorized testing facilities for their exams. However, the majority of course work can be completed entirely online.
Agriculture, manufacturing, and health care are some of Arkansas’ most important economic industries. A report released by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission in 2010 noted that local government, Tyson Foods, Baptist Health, and J.B. Hunt Transport Services were among the state’s largest employers. Given the importance of these industries, students who graduate from online degree programs in agriculture, business, health care administration, and engineering are in the best position to fill local job openings.