Region 8 community college offers degree online

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KAIT) - From shopping to paying bills the internet has become one of the biggest tools we depend on to get things accomplished.  Now one Region 8 college is offering students the opportunity to get their degree completely online!  About a decade ago Three Rivers Community College started offering their first online classes, now the one and two classes has transformed into a new way of getting your degree!

"What we're finding is a lot of our students who are taking classes on our campus are also the same students who sometimes will take one or two online courses," said TRCC instructor Steven Lewis.

Starting this spring students can get their Associate of Arts Degree or Environmental and Safety Health Program entirely online!  Student Cody Holt plays baseball at TRCC and says online classes are a lot more convenient for him.

"Considering most of my day revolves around baseball, it's a lot easier for me to do my online classes whenever I have free time instead of having to go to class," said Holt.

Vice President for Learning Dr. Wesley Payne said they've seen the popularity of online classes grow.

"If this many of our existing students have an interest in online education and would look to pursue a degree online, how many students more could we possibly serve," said Dr. Payne.

Dr. Payne said it's now main stream to offer classes online.

"You're meeting the same learning outcomes.  You are achieving the same skill set and the same knowledge base but it allows you more freedom in when you're going to apply yourself to that work," said Payne.

And by offering this type of program they can reach students who don't live in Southeast Missouri.

"By offering this we've expanded the opportunities for everybody in the region, in the state and really anywhere in the world," said Payne.

To help students out who don't have internet access at home TRCC is also building public computer centers for folks in Poplar Bluff, Malden, Kennett and Sikeston.  The first center will open in Poplar Bluff in January with the last lab opening in March.

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