Indiana sees increase of adults enrolled in online education programs

Many higher education institutions in Indiana have reported that their growth in web-based programs is fueled by adults in their mid-30's.
Many higher education institutions in Indiana have reported that their growth in web-based programs is fueled by adults in their mid-30's.

Colleges and universities in Indiana are reporting vast increases in the number of students, particularly those in their mid-30's, who pick online classes instead of traditional classroom-based courses, the Indy Star reports.

For example, at Indiana's Ivy Tech Community College, the number of students who utilize online education has doubled in the past two years, meaning that currently, about 80,000 people are enrolled in these programs. Of these students, the college told the news outlet that most of them are adults, who prefer web-based courses because it gives them the flexibility to work and take care of their families.

Even in the state's newest higher education school, Western Governors University of Indiana, online education is booming, the news provider reports. Over 1,000 students are already enrolled in exclusively web-based programs, with most of these individuals being in their mid-30's.

Regardless of the age of the students, the increase in online education can be seen on a national level. According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, between 2009 and 2010, enrollment in web-based courses increased by about 21 percent, compared with a 2 percent growth in overall higher education.

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