Unviersity of Arkansas (Little Rock) Distance Learning

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock was founded 80+ years ago as the Little Rock Junior College in 1927. Striving to “serve society through the application of knowledge and research skills”, UALR has written a history beginning with just 100 students (housed in local public schools) and evolving to a 13,000+ student body seeking graduate and undergrad degrees on a 150 acre (and “still growing”) “metropolitan university on the move”.

Currently offering 100 programs of study for all Associate, Bachelor, Master, and PhD seekers, UALR now houses six colleges, the graduate school, and a law school. Small class sizes (student faculty ratio of 14-1) and its location in the state capital encourage “unique learning experiences” and opportunities for personalized and experiential/intern learning. Whether studying at the college of Business or of Education, whether majoring in social work or in American humanics (nonprofit professional studies), or whether you are a graduate seeking one of 38 Master’s degrees, 10 doctoral, or even one of the 15 graduate certificates offered, UALR has it (they also offer 2 educational specialist programs for graduates).

All students enrolled at UALR can partake of a wide variety of online course offerings, “utilizing the Internet… to pursue their education anytime and anywhere”. Whether a traditional student or one strictly using distance learning methods, there are both undergrad and graduate degree tracts that require nothing more than Internet and UALR enrollment (though there are some classes with mandatory on campus exams, proctored testing can be arranged in the location the student lives).

Bachelor degrees in several areas are available for online students, all meeting “the same high academic standards and curriculum requirements” as their traditional equivalents. There are currently three BA, three BS, and a Bachelor of Business Administration (management) for undergrads, but graduate distance learners aren’t left out. Online Master tracts for both “professional and academic” degrees include two MAs (Rehab Counseling and Orientation/Mobility, both also offered online as graduate certificates), and MEd in Learning Systems Technologies, and a Criminal Justice MS.

Any UALR student who can email, use the internet, and can utilize word processing software has the proper computer skills to take Internet courses, which begin and follow the same semester schedule as their traditional counterparts (there is also “no differentiation… between web-based courses and traditional courses on students’ transcripts”).

The Benton Campus (located in Benton, Arkansas), an extension of UALR, also offers hybrid AA and Nursing programs, as well as certificate work and online courses that can be applied to a four year degree at UA Little Rock. The main campus in Little Rock offers a campus wide wireless network and a Cyber Café on campus.

UALR is still expanding, adding new academic programs and opportunities because of its location, as well as putting “its students in close contact with the state’s…leaders in government, business, industry, medicine, and information technology”. They are currently the second largest university in the state, but with a strategic plan called Fast Forward looking to build a “powerhouse university in that capital city-as fast as possible”, you wonder how much longer it will be the little brother.

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