A distant (education) world

More than half of SDSU’s total enrollment enrolled in at least one online class during fiscal year 2012.

South Dakota Board of Regents reported that 6,826 SDSU students took a distance-based class in the period between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. The SDSU headcount in fall 2011 was 12,725, meaning 54 percent of them weren’t going to the classroom for part of their education.

The 6,826 students is up 10.4 percent from FY2011, making it both the biggest increase in total numbers and percentage in recent years.

Among the six Board of Regent universities, there are 20,245 students taking distance education courses. The SDSU portion of that would be 33.7 percent, the largest of any of the six. The University of South Dakota has 6,225 such students, or 30.7 percent of the total.

Those taking distance-education classes tended to be undergraduates (77 percent), part-time students (70 percent) and female (64 percent).

Most undergraduate students enrolled in distance classes also are getting classroom instruction. In FY2012, 42.1 percent (fall) and 43.7 percent (spring) of their course load came from distance education, according to the Regents’ systemwide figures.

In FY2012, SDSU offered 927 class sections via distance education, which was 27 percent of the total.

That count has been a moving target at SDSU. In FY2008, there were 914 sections offered. That grew to 1,022 in FY2009. Dipped way down to 781 in FY2010 and then rebounded to 841 in FY2011.

USD’s 1,209 distance class sections is tops in the state (35.2 percent) and is a gain of 200 sections since FY 2011.

SDSU offers undergraduate degrees via distance education in six programs: general studies, interdisciplinary studies, interdisciplinary studies with a specialization in social sciences, medical laboratory sciences, RN Upward Mobility and sociology.

However, systemwide, most distance education students aren’t seeking a degree in any program.

Out of those 20,000-plus students, nearly 7,500 of them aren’t seeking a degree. That’s true for undergraduate (4,994) and graduate (2,400) students.

Among those seeking a degree, nursing tops the list with 752 in pre-nursing, 641 in nursing and 129 in graduate nursing.

The top five courses offered throughout the public universities remained the same in 2012. They are: Composition II, 39 sections; fundamentals of speech, 36 sections; Composition I, 30 sections; college algebra, 28 sections; and general psychology, 25 sections.

A total of 1,522 unique courses were offered systemwide in 2012, up 21.7 percent from FY2011.

SDSU distance ed headcount

FY 2008 – 4,757
FY 2009 – 5,161, up 8.5 percent
FY 2010 – 5,687, up 10.2 percent
FY 2011 – 6,184, up 8.7 percent
FY 2012 – 6,826 , up 10.4 percent

Leave a Reply