Representing a major milestone in its ability to offer distance learning options to future students, OSU Institute of Technology was recently approved by the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) Institutional Actions Council to deliver degree programs online.
The HLC is an independent corporation and member in the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. It accredits and thereby grants membership in the commission of degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the region including Oklahoma. Approval by both the HLC as well as the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education is required for an institution to offer degrees via distance learning.
In 2012, the university’s online general education and other course enrollment amounted to over 30% of total enrollment, indicating a growing public need and desire to pursue higher education online.
“Our approved status confirms the tremendous amount of dedication many people have shown in the development and growth of our distance learning courses over the last ten years,” explained Dr. Greg Mosier, vice president of Academic Affairs. “It also speaks volumes to the incredible amount of effort that has recently taken place to transition our existing distance learning course offerings into institutional distance learning programs.”
“This couldn’t have been accomplished by one individual or one group alone,” added Mosier. “Outcomes of this magnitude require the energy and teamwork mentality of everyone involved to be successful.”
The commission’s report cited OSUIT’s effective support of distance learning methods and technologies, strategic planning, continuous quality control and committed faculty and staff as all demonstrating its commitment to quality online education.
“The HLC’s approval allows us to be creative and innovative in our approach to instructional delivery so it benefits students who aren’t able to be here on our campus the majority of the time but want to take advantage of the programs we offer,” explained Kari Chancey, director of academic excellence and distance learning. “It takes away certain constraints and gives us the ability to think bigger and better in the area of distance learning.”