The new online college offers students the opportunity to complete…

South Carolina residents who have completed at least 60 college credits can now earn their license from anywhere thanks to a new online college launching this spring. Palmetto College, part of the University of South Carolina, offers degrees in liberal arts, organizational leadership, nursing, business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, and social services. Enrollment is open to in-state and out-of-state students, provided they meet the University of South Carolina enrollment requirements and have at least 60 college credits obtained at any accredited institution. Students who do not reside in South Carolina can take the courses online, but will pay higher tuition.

The new online college, according to University President Harris Pastides, will bring college to students. Palmetto College allows students to complete their education even if they leave the state or have obligations that prevent them from taking traditional classes during the day. The university states on its website that the move is intended to improve workforce education and prepare more residents for higher-paying jobs.

A 2010 study published by the US Department of Education highlights the fact that online learning can be equal to or, in some cases, better than traditional learning. The report, titled Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies, examined numerous online college situations and related data, as well as K-12 online learning solutions. Grade 12, to conclude that students in online learning situations slightly higher than or equal to that of students in traditional learning situations.

According to Community College Research Center at Teachers College Columbia University, 30% of students enrolled in at least one online course in 2009. Compare this increase with the 2% increase in total enrollment and it becomes clear that interest in courses and online college degrees are increasing. Institutions such as the University of South Carolina and other major higher education systems, sensing a growing demand for online learning, are actively investigating and implementing new online college courses and degrees. These courses offer students the opportunity to earn degrees and pursue new careers or employment opportunities.

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