November 11, 2010 | Adam Sorensen | Leave a comment Due to the levels of success that online colleges are reaching(comma) professionals and individuals who cannot commit the time toward degree programs that require students to attend on-campus classes. In an effort to stay competitive, larger universities are beginning to design online curricula in an effort to increase enrollment of individuals who work full-time and to stay attractive to younger prospective students. Many prestigious North Carolina universities are beginning to offer MBA degrees that are geared toward busy professionals who need more advanced credentials to advance in their careers. North Carolina State University (NCSU) recently unveiled plans to launch a new online an MBA degree program beginning next fall, reports the News Observer. Officials told the news source that their target audience is military personnel, stay-at-home moms and business managers with busy travel schedules. The school’s College of Management expects to enroll between 30 and 35 students for the first semester. "I wouldn't be shocked if 10 years from now we have 1,000 students," Steve Allen, NCSU associate dean of graduate programs and research, told the news source. “There seems to be a pretty significant untapped market for high-quality MBA programs in the region.” Duke University officials believe that combining both online and on-campus classes yields the best education model. Furthermore, John Gallagher, Duke’s associate dean for the executive MBA program, said that web-based courses are “highly conversational” and add to the overall educational experience. Officials from East Carolina University told the news that successful online programs need to have the same admission standards, courses and professors as classroom-based curricula. Universities partner with online education providers to control their web-based programs However, other universities are hiring companies to help supplement their programs. The University of Vermont recently announced that they will team up with Bisk Education to provide professional certificate programs in sustainability leadership. By collaborating with online education providers, universities are only tasked to provide the content and professors for their online programs to companies that handle implementation. "The University of Vermont is excited about working with Bisk Education to make these cutting-edge sustainability programs available online to a national and international audience," said Cynthia Belliveau, the school's dean of continuing education. "As a longtime leader in environmental protection and sustainability education, the University of Vermont is pleased to partner with the leader in online education." The program will offer streaming video lectures by professors and environmental experts, who students will be able to interact with. Furthermore, faculty-hosted chat rooms and discussion boards will allow students an immersive atmosphere. Universities design online programs to help meet demands for certain professions The University of Maryland recently announced a new online program that is designed to help alleviate the need for cybersecurity professionals, reports Defense Systems. The school’s new online capabilities will provide governmental agencies such as the Homeland Security Department with a pipeline of graduates who will be trained to enter into the profession. The online degree focuses on the integration of computer science with security, law, government policy and law enforcement. The web-based bachelor’s degree program requires students to complete 120 credit hours, which includes 33 credits of coursework in the major. Furthermore, the master’s degrees in cybersecurity and cybersecurity policy are offered in six, six-credit online courses, and students must complete internship programs as part of the curricula. Many universities are taking advantage of opportunities to reach audiences that would have been otherwise untouchable without a form of distance learning. Students are attracted to these types of programs because it allows them to receive an education and graduate with a degree from a prestigious college, while they continue to work full-time jobs.