Missouri school offers its first fully online degree and certificatesThree Rivers Community College (TRCC) recently announced it will be launching its first online degree in general education, reports The American Republic.

The degree, along with an environmental/occupational safety and health technology certificate, will be fully attainable online starting in January. School officials told the news source that there are plans to offer a business administration and information systems technology programs online in the near future.

"In my research, one of the biggest things community colleges are juggling is finding ways to reach a lot of non-traditional students coming from different walks of life," Aaron Smothers, student at the school, told the news source. "The online element widens that potential beyond the 15 counties ours serves."

More faculty members at the school are providing students with an online version of their classes. For instance, Carol Swain Lewis, English professor at TRCC, was among the first to allow students to take her classes in a web-based format. She added that some respects of teaching online classes is a much of a challenge for instructors as it is for students enrolled.

According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, more than 2,500 colleges and universities find that nearly 5.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2009.

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