Online programs increase the availability of education

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Engineering Fundamentals; Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


This paper examines the trends in online programs and enrollment to support the argument that those attracted to full time online programs are place (and time) bound nontraditional students looking to continue their education (e.g., working professionals, stay at home parents, active duty military). The authors also survey the literature to explain the reasons why students choose online programs versus face-to-face education, concluding that the motivations for choosing online learning are unique and pose no threat to long term sustainability of physical universities. Online programs offer the opportunity for continuing the education of students who would otherwise be unable to attend college, while traditional students’ first choice for education remains in-person programs.

Publication Title

Computers in Education Journal