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Savannah Tech increasing online classes

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POSTED: July 21, 2010 8:57 a.m.
SAVANNAH — As the new semester begins, students taking online classes at Savannah Technical College will notice a few changes, including a new Internet address for the online courses, easier-to-view announcements and new rules for testing.
“The news and announcements should help us improve communication with our online students,” said distance education specialist Sherry Heidkamp, who coordinates the college’s online programs.
The number of online courses offered has topped 100, up from 68 two years ago. At the same time, the number of credit hours earned online has nearly doubled from 6,325 in 2008 to 11,606 in 2010. The number of students taking only online classes also has nearly doubled, growing from 300 in 2008 to 530 in 2010.
Online courses are offered in all divisions, even those that focus on lab-based or hands-on instruction like health sciences and industrial technology.
“Usually, the introductory classes in these areas are offered online,” Heidkamp said. General studies, business and technology and public service offer the greatest number of online courses. This summer, the general studies division offered 45 online sections in English, math, psychology, economics, political science and history while business and technology offered 39 online sections in accounting, management and supervisory development, business administrative technology, computer information systems and paralegal studies.
The public service programs division offered online courses in early childhood care and education, marketing and hospitality management. Presently, Savannah Tech offers the early childhood program administration technical certificate of credit completely online. It includes three classes that can be completed in 10 weeks: child care administration, child care facility management and child care personnel management.
Recently, the college was approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer entire programs of study in the online format. Offering more programs completely online is a focal point for the upcoming academic year, said Carol Paulk, dean of business and technology. “We’ve challenged the faculty to take a fresh look at how they deliver their programs,” she said. “More and more are finding that online is a viable option that allows students greater flexibility and maintains accountability for the faculty.”
 

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