Founded in 1866 in Lawrence, the University of Kansas (KU) is the flagship university of Kansas, as well as the largest university in the state with more than 30,000 students and 2,500 faculty members, according to the school's website. The school is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. A staggering 93% of KU's faculty members hold a Ph.D. or equivalent in their fields, including some of those who teach KU's online courses. There are no University of Kansas online degree programs per se, as the school doesn't offer any completely online degrees, but it does have a good amount of online courses for those who would like to integrate classroom learning with distance learning, or those who would like to either begin or finish their education online. KU offers a variety of courses online, such as behavioral science, respiratory care, and sociology, so students are bound to find courses that fit into their degree curricula. In addition, KU is one of the best online schools, ranking at No. 46 in the nation for the "Top Public Schools" category of U.S. News & World Report's 2012 ratings list.
Home of the K-State Wildcats, Kansas State University is regularly featured in rankings of the nation's top schools; it was ranked at No. 73 in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 "Top Public Schools" list. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Kansas State University Online offers a variety of online courses that distance students can take to complete their degrees or begin them. While the school does not offer any bachelor's degree programs that can be completed entirely online, it does have flexible distance learning options for those who would like to take some undergraduate college classes off-campus, either through the Internet or from a CD, according to the school's website. It does, however, offer 18 online masters degree programs and 16 certificates completely online, including those in chemical engineering, educational leadership, and food science.
Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Fort Hays State University (FHSU) was founded in 1902 in Hays. Today, there are approximately 12,802 student enrolled at the school, out of which 8,119 are enrolled as online learners. The Virtual College at FHSU allows students to earn an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree completely online without ever having to set foot on campus. In fact, a good number of the distance learners at FHSU are international students seeking a high-quality online education. Students can earn a degree in business, education, psychology, and tourism and hospitality management, among other things. FHSU is one of the top online universities in the nation, and its programs are regularly recognized; the school's online bachelor's programs placed at No. 6 for "Student Engagement and Assessment" and at No. 35 for "Faculty Credentials and Training" on the 2012 ratings lists from U.S. News & World Report.
Unlike in a traditional, campus-based program, online students are not tied to strict class schedules or even weekly assignment schedules. Instead, distance learners have the luxury of "attending" class whenever it is the most convenient for them, such as after putting the kids down for a nap for stay-at-home parents or during break hours for working professionals. This allows learners the chance to earn a degree without making too many other sacrifices in other aspects of their lives. In addition, online education is a great way to earn a degree that will have the potential to help you start a new career or move up in your current one.
One of the biggest industries in Kansas is aviation, as Kansas is the producer of more than 70% of the world's embedded aviation fleet, according to the state's Department of Commerce. In addition, its bioscience and renewable energy industries are booming. This means students who graduate with an online degree in aviation engineering, production engineering, green energy management, or the health sciences can easily join these top industries in the state. However, an education in a general business program can also enable graduates to join any number of occupational fields in The Sunflower State.