Creative Colleges: A State University With Flexibility
Depending on the state where you live, your state university might be exceptionally selective. It could also be exceptionally welcoming with assured admissions. The state university that will be a winner in our new reality will be the one that offers flexibility.
What do I mean by flexibility when it comes to a state university?
- A school will offer the opportunity to complete your degree on a campus or online.
- It will offer learning opportunities inside and outside of a classroom setting.
- You would be able to graduate earlier, or adjust your class schedule around work and family.
Flexibility will become more important within a state university for these reasons:
- High school students enter college with more AP, IB and community college credits than ever before. They took these courses and scored well on exams with every intention of not having to repeat the class in college. Most opt for a four-year college experience. But they can fill it with graduate courses, a second major or multiple minors.
- Those students expect access to new academic opportunities that take them off campus while taking classes remotely. Practically anyone who wants to work after college has an internship experience, maybe three, before they graduate. The more successful your internship experiences, the better your chances of finding that dream job for life after college.
- Politicians demand more responsiveness and accountability from their state university. Ohio, for example, offers many paths to a three-year bachelors degree from high school as well as college. These help families lower college costs. They also improve the skill set within the state workforce.
- The “value” of online courses is being seriously questioned. But online courses drive other popular and successful educational models.These include for-profit colleges and the innovative non-profit Southern New Hampshire University. While students complained about online courses delivered during the spring, chances are that your state university put their winter break session online. Rutgers, as one example, has offered an online winter session for a while.
Educate To Career has developed a college ranking that will help you find a flexible state university in every state.
According to that site a ‘Tier 1’ or ‘top-ranked’ college is one that has:
- A physical campus for in-classroom instruction should the health authorities allow colleges to open in September
- Robust software and systems to support distance learning programs
- Faculty experience in teaching online
- Reasonable tuitions & fees on a relative basis
Not every state university is a flexible state university. But some schools have gotten a head start. Here are three:
Arizona State University offers classes on three campuses in and around Phoenix as well over 300 degree and certificate programs online. The nation’s largest public university, Arizona State takes its online mission quite seriously.
Penn State has an online World Campus and 19 Commonwealth campuses throughout Pennsylvania. It’s quite common for state residents to take classes on more than one campus, or a mix of online and on-campus courses to complete a degree.. No matter where you took your classes, you are a Nittany Lion for life.
Rowan University (NJ) offers on-campus and online instruction; and runs the community college systems in two New Jersey counties. Rowan also has articulation agreements with community colleges further from campus to ease transfer of credits.
Some “rank” a state university by its research output or selectivity. But flexibility will become more important in our new reality. Unlike Ivy League and Ivy-like schools, a state university has obligations to make a degree more affordable and accessible. The most flexible schools will be the winners for a long time.
Is a state university on your college shopping list? Will it meet your needs for a degree, direction and network for life? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 609-409-0062.
Need more information about me and Educated Quest? Listen to these podcasts:
College Is A Learning AND Living Community! Check out my talk, hosted by Dr. Cynthia Colon from Destination YOUniversity on Voice of America Radio!
Find Your Good College! Check out the talk, What Exactly Is a Good College? hosted by test-prep experts Amy Seeley and Mike Bergin on Tests And The Rest!