Drexel University is, without a doubt, one of the pioneers of the distance learning movement, offering online degrees since 1996 in such multitudes, many other schools offerings combined are paltry in comparison.
A quick history shows it was founded in Philadelphia in 1891 to provide “educational background in the practical arts and sciences”. Then known as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, it became simply the Drexel Institute of Technology before achieving university status in 1970. In the past decade, it has also adopted a College of Medicine and Law School and now offers both four year and graduate programs to its 22,000+ students over nine different schools. Its quarter-based curriculum offers roughly 100 majors, providing an education routinely ranking in the US News and World Report Top 100 colleges.
Their background in technology and research naturally lent itself to the development of their online programs, recognized for the same level of excellence offered by Drexel for over 115 years in traditional, on campus classes. Drexel offers Master’s, Bachelor, and certifications completely online, with transcripts and degrees that are exactly the same as those that attend class. The same rigorous standards and adherence to policy applies to online learners, making sure distance students aren’t “compromising quality for convenience”. This adherence has seen their online programs garnering praise from US News and World Report, as well as the US Distance Learning Associations Best Practice Award.
Online majors are as varied as their traditional counterparts, with its business, engineering, education, and library science majors receiving recognition as some of the best programs in the nation. Whereas most colleges generally offer online learning to those adult learners looking to enhance their education, as many have gotten two and four year degrees already, Drexel looks to all ages and levels of degree seekers. Whether a Register Nurse looking to up their paycheck with a four year degree, or a fresh from high school teenager looking to balance work and a achieve a BS in Psychology, Drexel has programs designed to suit.
Almost 90% of Drexel’s faculty have attained a PhD and those same professors are utilized in their online programs, again maintaining that commitment to quality that permeates all the school’s programs. Distance learners aren’t ever required to commute to campus, can take as many classes as they wish, and are able to work at their own pace, with weekly deadlines that allow for workers to find their own time to learn. Also, interaction with other students and faculty through web chats and emails allows for distance learners to not feel isolated, with both academic and technical support available 24 hours a day. Many online courses are offered at a cheaper cost than their in class equivalents, without sacrificing an iota in the way of content and comprehension. Overall, this is the same quality of education, but it can be completed in a fraction of the time and at a reduced price.
Drexel’s mission to “serve students through comprehensive, integrated academic offerings enhanced by technology” extends beyond the receipt of the degree as well. The university has one of the oldest Co-op education programs in the nation, including a massive online job database listing everything from internships to actual post graduate jobs. They offer 5 year degree programs that include up to 18 months of on the job training, much of it including paid compensation as well as class credit.
Drexel University has been providing renowned education opportunities to students for so long because of their ability to adapt to the changes in the world around them. The same research and technology they help develop to benefit the world around them is used internally as well, bringing the same perks to both distance and traditional learners, ultimately resulting in the same quality education for all.