University of North Carolina (Asheville) Distance Learning

The ONLY dedicated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system, UNC Asheville has been in operation since 1927, when the first 86 students were admitted for junior college education. Today it stands as one of the research and education standards in North Carolina, drawing praise for both its quality academics and affordability.

UNC Asheville has a student body of around 3700 undergraduate students from 42 states and 19 different countries. Their 30+ majors of study include popular choices like literature, psychology, and environmental studies, taught by a faculty that is 85% terminally degreed (with a 19-1 student teacher average). There are Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees available here, as well as one graduate degree (a Master of Liberal Arts), numerous teacher licensures, and a several pre-programs including dental, medical, and veterinary. There’s also a joint program with NC State, allowing for students to complete a dual degree program, starting with the Mechatronics program at UNCA and finishing in the Engineering school at NC State, which can be completed in four years and includes a variety of engineering options.

As all of the 17 UNC schools are connected, though one cannot simply take a course at one just because you’re applied at the other, so although there is an online directory for distance education classes, you can only take courses at the school at which you’ve applied and been accepted. That being said, UNC Asheville only offers 6 courses online at this time (out of the 240 programs at all UNC schools), though Asheville defines distance education as any off campus education for credit, so they also include off-site face to face classes (The Art of Public Presentation takes place at a local Fire Hall) and unique hybrids (there’s also an online course that combines internet work with teleconferencing).

Though there are no online degrees offered, all distance education classes are given the same quality attention and students are given online library and campus pipeline access (allowing them use of all online services… email, registrar, etc).

Programs have also been established to teach outside the campus boundaries, as in their Correctional Education Program, sending teachers to local prisons with books and lesson plans, allowing the jailed to learn college level credit, certified and ready for transfer when (or if) they decide to pursue their education after their stay with the state.

Research is also big at UNCA, with more than “half of students completing original research in their field of study”. Believing that “true understanding comes…from studying problems and concepts in context”, their undergraduate research programs bring an experiential creativity to all majors at UNC Asheville, affording opportunities to get elbow deep in the parts of your major that stimulate you.

Study abroad options and intern opportunities are also at a premium here, including programs to send students to Australia and India, or work with the Career Center in finding the area job that is perfect for you to “get your foot in the door with”, often for credit.

With award winning undergraduate academics and the opportunity to put your learning into practice while still funded by the school, UNC Asheville wholly prepares students for the next step, be it the real world or graduate school.

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