UL Lafayette’s distance learning tops Best Schools’ list

Courtesy of UL Lafayette

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is No. 1 on Best Schools’ “Top 10 Online Colleges in Louisiana.”

“We interviewed the No. 1 school, University of Louisiana Lafayette and loved their extensive training program for any faculty member who will teach an online class,” according to the Best Schools website

Best Schools evaluated 13 Louisiana universities and colleges that offer at least one bachelor’s degree that can be completed entirely online. It only considers schools that are accredited by a regional accrediting body.

Best Schools reviewed “the history and growth trajectory to gauge commitment to online education, about the student experience to find out what elements make students the most successful, and about faculty’s role in online education to explore what makes them engage with online learners,” the website states.

It notes that UL Lafayette offers online self-assessments for potential students and is prepared to make accommodations for students with disabilities.

A Best Schools representative interviewed Dr. Luke Dowden, director of Distance Learning at UL Lafayette.

He said UL Lafayette faculty members who teach online classes can identify with students engaged in distance learning. “Our faculty have been online students, every one of them, because we require them to be. . . we have put them in situations to be online students. I think that experience transcends into their instructional approach.”

Dowden says graduate students who take UL Lafayette online courses are usually adult learners who want to enhance their careers.

“Our undergraduate programs are different. We really have two groups of students. We have the adult learner that is coming back to earn a bachelor’s degree after they get an associate’s degree. But we also have true undergraduate students, who were in majors that they weren’t successful in, and so they’re seeking a different option. They’re also seeking flexibility because they’re working,” Dowden states.

Northwestern State University and the University of Louisiana at Monroe are second and third, respectively, on Best Schools’ Top 10 list. Others cited are McNeese State University, the University of New Orleans, Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana State University – Shreveport, Southern University in New Orleans, Nicholls State University and Louisiana State University at Alexandria.

To learn more about the online degree programs offered at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, visit online.louisiana.edu

Photo: Dr. Luke Dowden

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