Memorial University’s distance education registrations continue to increase, as reported at the start of this academic year. Graduate courses in particular are showing immense growth with a 34 per cent increase since the same time last year, supported by moderate growth of five per cent in undergraduate course registrations.
Graduate registrations are led by a tremendous 56 per cent gain in Social Work, followed by increases in Human Kinetics and Recreation, Education and Nursing.
Ann Marie Vaughan, director of Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT), is thrilled with the increased numbers and credits the growth to an increase in programs, as well as the number mature students using distance education to upgrade their education on the job.
“The significant increase in graduate registrations gives us direct evidence that our mature students want to advance without having to completely disrupt their lifestyles,” she said. “In fact, workplaces often encourage educational advancement, so we’re giving them the opportunity to access residential university courses and programs from wherever they’re able to study.”
“We’re also seeing a continuous and increasing interest from undergraduate students,” Ms. Vaughan added. “Traditional students today are looking for flexible models in which to get their education, and supplementing some of their on-campus courses with distance courses allows them to do that.”
Collective distance education registrations for the fall 2009 semester total 6,372, an overall increase of eight per cent since the same time in 2008.
The five per cent growth in undergraduate course registrations is led by a 21 per cent increase in Maritime Studies, followed by gains in Nursing, Science and Arts.
The growing trend is not a new one, as registrations for distance education have been on a continuous rise over recent years. As this year marks the unit’s 40th anniversary of offering distance education to the province, the results are particularly pleasing.
“It’s rewarding to know that after four decades there continues to be a demand for distance delivery,” said Ms. Vaughan, “and that demand will only grow over time.”
Full undergraduate degrees are available via distance in Business, Arts (English), Arts (Police Studies), Nursing (Post RN/BN), Technology and Maritime Studies. Full graduate level programs are available in Physical Education, Nursing and Education.
Memorial’s distance education capabilities make it the largest among Canadian comprehensive universities, offering over 400 undergraduate and graduate degree courses from 10 faculties and schools. Distance education registrations are currently nearing 17,000 annually, from students across the province and around the world.