Carson-Newman College is a Baptist liberal arts institution that has been called one of the best schools in the Southeast by the Princeton review. Carson-Newman began as a Baptist seminary in 1851. For a few decades Carson College and Newman College stood as separate institutions for men and women, until 1889, when the two schools combined to become one of the first coeducational institutions in the South. The campus is located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Jefferson City, Tennessee.
Both undergraduate and graduate students strive to serve God through service to the community. The “five Steeples of Excellence” refer to buildings on campus that symbolize important aspects of Carson-Newman’s culture: the Appalachian Center, the Louis and Mary Charlotte Ball Institute for Church Music, the Center for Baptist Studies, and the Center for Global Education, and the Wellness Center. In 2009 it was ranked #110 on the Forbes “America’s Best Colleges” list. Some of the most popular majors are Nursing, Education, Business, Pre-Medicine/Biology, and Psychology. Graduates from Carson-Newman often enroll in some of the best medical schools and seminaries.
In order to accommodate students’ work schedules and extracurricular obligations, Carson-Newman offers an online and distance-learning program with educational outcomes and academic rigor equivalent to those of on-campus classes. Online Distance Learning classes (ODL) are semester length courses taught online, using programs like Blackboard, blogs, and professor’s websites to share the syllabus, coursework, and evaluations. There are also hybrid classes that combine face-to-face meetings with Internet assignments.
To dispel the myth that online classes are easier than on-site classes, the Carson-Newman website provides a comprehensive survey to assess whether or not one has the skills and technological access for online learning. This survey must be completed before an applicant can enroll in ODL classes. Students are still expected to do research and reading and to complete quizzes and assignments with deadlines. Without a traditional classroom schedule, students will have to be self-motivated and practice time management. Students may be expected to “attend” an ODL class up to five times a week.
While some classes are asynchronous, that is, not bound by a specific time, others contain synchronous components such as live lectures broadcasted via the world wide web, internet; one-way and two-way transmissions , closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices or audio conferencing. Sometimes CD-ROMs, video cassettes and DVDs supplement the course material. Courses will sometimes include group projects, bulletin board discussions, and chat rooms.
Many ODL exams are unproctored, meaning that they can be taken from the comfort of one’s home with a pledge to complete the exam with academic honesty and integrity. Other times students within fifty miles of the Carson-Newman must come to the campus to take a supervised exam. Students living further from the college may need to make arrangements for a local professor or librarian to proctor their exam.