CSU to offer new online communications degree

By Sara Belsole

COLUMBUS, GA –   In today's fast-paced world, college students across the country are using computers and other technology for just about everything.

So why not use it to get a degree? Well at Columbus State University, you can.

“Students around the world are looking for flexibility and options in terms of course selection and course availability,” CSU President Dr. Tim Mescon says.

Starting in the Fall of 2013, CSU will offer a full Bachelor's degree in Communications, exclusively online.

“The power of these synchronistic courses which are available anytime, anywhere,” Mescon says.

This new online degree was made possible by a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William Flora Hewlette Foundation.

It will join the almost ten other “distance learning” online degree programs CSU offers, like it's web MBA program.

“Many students perceive that for some reason online distance learning programs would be easier. They are not. They are very demanding and require a different type of diligence,” Mescon says.

“I don't think many college students would be able to pull up the site and be on the class, in the class,” former CSU student Joseph Donahue says.

Other universities in Georgia like Emory and Georgia Tech have also recently launched online programs.

“It's kind of an endorsement, that universities of this caliber are committed to distance learning,” Mescon says.

But this path may not be the right fit for everyone.

“They really don't work for me. I have to be in class to do the work and actually connect with the teacher or the professor,” Donahue says.

But CSU says its students are not strangers to online learning. “This past fall, 40% of CSU students took at least one online course,” Mescon says.

CSU says its Communications Department is still working on all the details of the online degree. It hopes to launch the program with a few hundred students.

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