Southern University and A&M College is a historically black college, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that is a part of the Southern University System. Southern University is in the midst of constructing a complete distance learning program. Currently, it is operable and the opportunities are simply still in the process of expanding.
There is a selection of online courses that spread a wide range of studies. What a student can currently accomplish is take as many courses online as possible, thus minimizing the time and resources they have to focus on sitting in for campus classes. This is the best possible alternative to the currently unavailable 100% online distance learning programs. In the future, there will be complete degrees and certificates offered over the net.
Students taking courses online, still yet, have a few different resources to choose from. To start with, a class can be taken in a standard asynchronous, online format using Blackboard to read lectures, notes, and post coursework. There are also video-based courses, where the student can enjoy a recorded presentation, thus better emulating the on-campus environment. There is also the option of videoconferencing or using interactive compressed video for one’s online courses. The latter options are still under development and may not be fully flexible just yet.
Distance learning aside, students on campus have had open access to various research opportunities. The Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives regularly invests in undergraduate and graduate research aimed at minority and disadvantaged students. This alone has helped give the university a world of substance to put underneath the standard range of studies. In addition, it has given students vital experience to work with, giving them headway into graduate schooling.
To make things more interesting, Southern University is adapting a system of modules that allow students to learn by sectional topics. This allows the student to split their topic of interest up into units of credit, rather than putting all of their eggs into a series of courses. Students can learn from their own angle, using this model, and lucidly pursue fields that interest them. Despite the innovative nature of this concept, learning returns to a much more organic setting, all the while allowing students to earn credits over the net.
Southern University and A&M College offers a straightforward system of tuition. Undergraduates pay $2,059 per year regardless of how many credit hours they take. The cost is extremely low and allows a student to enroll part-time, full-time, or even at an accelerated pace following the same price point. Graduate students pay $2,438 per year and follow the same tuition model. The cost is the same regardless of whether or not the student is a state resident, as opposed to many public colleges that will only offer lowered rates to resident students.
Financial aid is available directly from the university itself. 26% of the student body receives grants from Southern University and A&M College, and usually between $1,000 and $2,000 for each student. Many other students take advantage of federal aid and student loan resources.