Founded in 1870, Colorado State University's Fort Collins location is the flagship campus of the Colorado State University System. This four-year, public, research institution is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and currently serves more than 30,000 students. Online college courses and degree programs are available through Colorado State University Online. Distance learning programs are offered in subjects such as agriculture, art, business, computer science and technology, construction management, education, engineering, human resources, statistics, veterinary medicine, and sustainability and natural resources management. The online bachelors degree programs at CSU were ranked among the top 100 schools for student engagement and assessment by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the online masters degree programs in computer information technology were ranked No. 2 in admissions selectivity and student services and technology.
The University of Colorado system is comprised of three universities: the University Colorado – Boulder, the University of Colorado – Denver, and the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. The main campus in Boulder was established in 1912 and has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913. Today, the school serves more than 32,000 students, including a growing number of online students. University of Colorado online degree programs include engineering, business administration, computer science, counseling, English, finance, nursing, public administration, and telecommunications. UCB's online engineering degree programs were ranked No. 16 for faculty credentials and training and No. 31 for student services and technology by U.S. News & World Report in 2011.
Originally established as the State Normal School of Colorado in 1889, the University of Northern Colorado is a public, four-year institution located in Greely. The school has been regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1916 and currently serves a student population of more than 13,000. In an effort to serve the diverse needs of an expanding student body, the University of Northern Colorado also offers students a number of online education opportunities. UNC Online has both undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as art, criminal justice, dietetics, education, nursing, sociology, speech-language pathology, and theatre education. The online graduate-level education and nursing programs at UNC were ranked first for student engagement and accreditation by U.S. News & World Report. Both programs were also ranked highly for admissions selectivity and student services and technology.
These schools are only a handful of universities in Colorado taking advantage of the growing popularity of online education. The majority of online classes are asynchronous, meaning there is no specific time students are required to log in to the virtual classroom. This makes it an ideal option for working adults who need to be able to adjust their course work to fit the demands of their professional and family lives. Still, while most course work can be completed remotely, some schools or specific programs may have on-campus requirements. If required, these will typically be compressed into a week or weekend a few times throughout the program.
Aerospace, agriculture, renewable energy technology, financial services, and telecommunications are some of Colorado's most important economic industries. According to CNN Money's 2011 rankings, some of the best companies to work for in the state include Brocade Communications Systems, CH2M Hill, Qualcomm, and Scottrade. Given the economic opportunities in the state, students who graduate with degrees in business, engineering, finance, and telecommunications are ideally suited to fill positions among the largest and best local companies.