Penn State's online enrollments are up 21 percent since last fall

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The number of students enrolled in Penn State's World Campus grew 21 percent since fall 2010, from 8,524 to 10,314, according to newly released Penn State enrollment data. This is the second consecutive year of 20 percent growth for students enrolled online.

"Penn State's commitment to academic rigor and high quality for online programs, as well as the continuing enhancements being made to student support services for online learners, are among the factors contributing to the increase in online enrollments," said Wayne Smutz, executive director of Penn State World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach.

Penn State's reputation as a leader in online education also has been recognized nationally -- most recently by two top awards from the Sloan Consortium for the World Campus and its leader Wayne Smutz. Sloan-C is the premier higher education professional association dedicated to advancing the quality of online learning.

Established in 1998, the World Campus has recorded double-digit enrollment increases in each of the last five years.

One new World Campus student is Shane Ulrich, 26, a U.S. Navy veteran from Lititz, Pa., who began his first semester this fall in the online bachelor's degree in law and society. "I'm fascinated by the legal field," said Ulrich, who hopes eventually to work in a law firm, government agency or in an advocacy role. "When I found the World Campus' online bachelor's degree, I knew I could be a Penn State student without having to uproot myself."

Penn State's online learners reside in all 50 states and around the world. They access World Campus courses created in partnership with faculty in the academic colleges, where the programs reside. Currently, more than 70 professional certificate programs and associate, bachelor's and master's degrees are available online. These courses incorporate advanced learning technologies that engage students in a flexible learning environment.

To learn more about Penn State's online programs, visit the World Campus online or on a smart phone.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 70 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University's 25th campus serving more than 10,300 students in all 50 states and around the world. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated October 25, 2011