Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio has spent the years since its founding in 1847 looking to educate the whole student by offering a variety of majors with numerous minor permutations and a curriculum built on drawing from a host of different areas of study. Prizing experiential learning, Otterbein structures a host of immersive experiences from Community&Global Engagement, to Internship and Undergraduate Research to teach “the whole student” and provide useable training in addition to core theory and book learning.
With “the liberal arts as the broad base of learning” from which to begin, Otterbein has 7 different Bachelor degrees (from B.A to B.S., B.F.A. to B.MUS.) across 56 majors, with 41 minors and even individualized degree options. Graduate students are also offered Master’s programs in Business Administration, Education, and Nursing, with several majors offered and certificate programs in most graduate areas (including post-graduate, for those really looking to move up in their chosen fields by staying ahead of the competition). Around 3100 students are enrolled annually at the 140 acre campus that has seen numerous renovations the last decade and houses several art galleries, a University Theater that shows many plays and musical performances a year (their music and theater programs are superb), and even a Center for Equine Studies.
There are some online options here for distance learners, though Otterbein offers only a limited menu of online and hybrid courses, and these seem only available during summer term. With a number of both graduate and undergraduate offerings, Otterbein’s distance learning is here utilized for both continuing education (for workers who look to enhance their education during summer hours or with online learning at their own pace) and for students looking to take some school home with them for the summer (those living near the school can utilize hybrid offerings, as they require some on campus work throughout the term). From a hybrid course in The Nature of Mathematics to an online Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Otterbein’s array of options may be slim, but there is a nice variety.
Though there are no entirely online degree programs here, there is a Bachelor degree completion program that uses previous credit and hybrid courses to confer a B.A. of Liberal Studies in Leadership (with concentrations in either Organizational Communication or Psychology of Leadership). For returning students with at least 64 semester hours, Otterbein can degree you in another 64, with a mix of online and on campus evenings/weekends. There are also some certificates for online learners, including a Post Master’s Advanced Practice Nurse Educator Certificate for graduate nurse students looking for a leg up over the competition with just 3 online nursing classes (two in the Summer, with the last offered in the Fall semester).
Continuing Education is also a big stress at Otterbein, with numerous programs for Ohio residents looking to trade evenings and weekends now for a Bachelor in 8 different majors. There is also a Senior College program which realizes that some never stop learning, so offers locals over age 60 the chance to sit in on a limited offering of courses at no charge. There is also a hybrid learning campus in Grove City, Ohio, utilizing Otterbein faculty to teach a few creditable courses with both traditional and online aspects.
Educating the “whole student” in Ohio in three different centuries, Otterbein University’s tradition of using liberal arts as a base for all sorts of different academics has resulted in experienced graduates ready to serve their community and the world around.