OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU ‘Ecampus’ online degree graduates top 150 for 2009

06/05/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Continuing to re-write its own record for the fifth consecutive year, Oregon State University Extended Campus will congratulate 153 students this month as part of commencement who completed their OSU degrees completely online during the 2008-09 academic year.

This represents significant growth from last year’s 131 graduates, 87 in 2006-07, 71 in 2005-06 and 49 in 2004-05 and shows an over 200 percent increase of online graduates in only five years.

  1. The top three online degrees are Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (59), Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources (28) and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (23).    

OSU Extended Campus provides access to more than 15 of OSU’s accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees through online and hybrid (online and face-to-face) delivery.  Most Ecampus students live outside driving distance to Corvallis. Some 3,200 students are taking OSU courses online around the state, country and the world.

The increasing number of graduates is a reflection of Ecampus’ recent 20-percent enrollment increase from last year and overall appeal of accredited online degree programs.

“OSU’s graduating class of 2009 holds more Ecampus graduates again this year, attesting to the growing success of online education and its ability to meet educational needs of contemporary students,” said OSU Outreach and Engagement Vice Provost Scott Reed.  “We’re delighted to see our graduates increasingly demonstrate that education can happen anywhere—not just in a university classroom.”

Dave King, associate provost of Ecampus, is looking forward to sharing this milestone with the Ecampus class of 2009.

“For most of these students, online learning through OSU Ecampus appears to be the perfect solution for those who must balance work, personal and family obligations,” King said.  “And our numbers show people recognize that OSU Ecampus offers online access to quality OSU degree programs.  I’m looking forward to seeing these students as they receive their OSU diplomas.”

More than 20 Ecampus graduates from as far as Florida and Virginia are scheduled to attend the OSU Ecampus Student Graduation Reception on campus on the day of OSU’s commencement exercises, June 13, in the Trysting Tree Lounge on the Mezzanine level of the Memorial Union building from 7:45 to 9 a.m.  For most, this will be their first visit to the OSU campus.

Nathan Bruner, a graduate from Waldport, Ore. receiving a Master of Education in Adult Education, will graduate at the same time as his stepson Kristinn Thorlaksson, an on-campus student in Computer Science.  For him, a master’s degree from a distance program didn’t just translate into better career opportunities, but provided a means for him to continue working and caring for his family, one of his main priorities.

“I’m pleased that my younger children can watch their brother and dad graduate together,” Bruner said.  “We both hope that our graduations will inspire them to pursue similar life goals.

Also expected at the reception is online B.S. in General Agriculture graduate M. Amanda Gillett from Winnett, Mont.  As a ranch owner, she said her experience with Ecampus enhanced her skills to effectively manage her duties in her own backyard as well as allowed her to complete her degree while living in a rural area.

“I never imagined that finishing my undergraduate degree would be possible until learning about this program,” Gillett said.  “The most important part of finishing my degree is the tools it gave me to use in my everyday life.  The ability to do research at home gave me valuable information about the resources that my family uses everyday to make a living and create a sustainable cattle operation.”

For questions about OSU Ecampus graduates or the reception, please contact Emily Higham at 541-737-2576 or emily.higham@oregonstate.edu.  For more information about OSU undergraduate, graduate and professional programs offered from a distance and online, contact OSU Extended Campus at 800-667-1465 or visit ecampus.oregonstate.edu.