JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- "Well I think the growth in online courses has occurred because people want accessibility," said Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Curriculum, and Special Education, Dr. Mitch Holifield.
Dr. Holifield says online learning allows people to further their education and credentials at their own convenience.
"They're out there working in schools everyday. They're seeking more professional development, advanced degrees, other licensure areas," said Dr. Holifield.
The College of Education has 4 departments that have all seen growth, the biggest coming in the Department of Educational Leadership, Curriculum, and Special Education, according to College of Education Dean, Dr. Don Maness.
"We have about five programs in that department that are exclusively online programs," said Dr. Maness.
Graduate level courses and programs Dr. Maness says that really started getting attention 2 to 3 years ago.
"The program is to enhance them, and enhance their learning so that they would be even more affective in the classroom," said Dr. Maness.
Dr. Maness says though the majority are part time, there are roughly 1600 students enrolled in a multitude of online classes in the Department of Educational Leadership, Curriculum, and Special Education.
"It does meet a niche in that being able to reach students that you would not otherwise reach," said Dr. Don Maness.
Dr. Holifield says since their students are already in schools everyday, they can use their classrooms as laboratories to develop the skills they need for even more success.
"The field is actually the place where they do most of their assignments, their authentic assignments, that help them bridge that gap between theory and practice," said Dr. Holifield.