South Texas College is among the most innovative online schools for students seeking associate degrees, according to a new nationwide ranking.
The acknowledgement comes from Online Schools Center. The website is an online resource for students seeking an online option for college apart from traditional institutions. STC was the only institution in Texas to receive the recognition being among the “30 most innovative online colleges” in the nation. The college is also the most affordable college in this ranking, especially for residents of Texas, according to OSC.
“We have developed an outstanding Online Campus at South Texas College over the course of more than 20 years that is available anywhere to students seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” said Ana Rocio Pena, director of Distance Learning and Online Campus at STC. “Above all, we believe that taking online classes prepares students for the real world and enables them to be responsible by providing them the opportunity to study and work at their convenience.
Online Schools Center says it considers dynamics such as the incorporation of new technologies, adaptability, flexibility and groundbreaking resources. It also considers unique degree courses, and how responsive each school is to the changing demands of 21st-century online students and professionals. It also considered factors like awards and recognition, as well as the presence of pioneering faculty members.
The variety of associate degrees makes STC an excellent transfer school, according to OSC. It also states its a top college for military personnel whether they are veterans or on active duty.
Online education growing
Online courses across the nation have quadrupled in the last 15 years, and one in six students are taking online classes exclusively, according to a report by Brookings Institute. At STC, about 10 percent of all students (3,226) took classes exclusively online in 2018. Ten years ago, 853 students took online classes.
The Distance Learning Program at STC began in 1997 with two course sections and 57 students. It now includes 35 online degrees, which are fully online, and approximately 280 faculty are certified to teach online courses. The total offering is more than 700 online courses with more than 6,000 online students.