Point of Pride #3 – Internet Academy
A leader in online education for nearly two decades, Herkimer County Community College provides an alternate means of higher education for those who may not otherwise be able to attend college due to work or family obligations, or other conflicts and barriers. Our Internet Academy has grown to offer 20 complete degree programs, three certificate programs and over 200 courses, as well as support services, all entirely online.
Online enrollment has increased significantly through the years with nearly one-third of current students taking one or more online classes, making the Internet Academy an important part of our community. Online courses can often allow for frequent and more personal interaction among students and professors as well as more thoughtful conversation and debate than the physical classroom can offer.
The convenience of online education is immeasurable, allowing students to do their coursework anytime and anywhere. They are also able to register for classes, purchase books, apply for financial aid, seek academic advisement, benefit from tutoring services and more – all completely online. Some online students complete the entirety of their degree programs without ever stepping on campus. In fact, some of our online students come to campus for the first time to walk across the stage at Commencement.
As a leader in online learning, our Internet Academy and the staff are known throughout New York State, nationally and internationally, for designing innovative delivery of online programs and services, and providing training for other colleges and universities as well. Most recently, the Internet Academy received the 2016 SUNY Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACTT) Award for Instructional Support for Herkimer’s course refresh initiative.
Affordability is another area in which the Internet Academy ranks high. Herkimer was recently ranked as one of the most affordable accredited online colleges in the nation by OnlineU. Additionally, Herkimer is a leader in the movement to replace traditional text books with high quality open educational resources (OER). President Cathleen McColgin said, “We are committed to having two online degree programs converted to all OER courses by the end of 2018. Students will have the opportunity to complete these programs without the additional financial burden of purchasing textbooks, hence the designation of “Z-degree” for “zero” cost for course materials. Students will also benefit from using a reservoir of high quality content customized to the way today’s digital learners learn best. We are excited to take on a leadership role in this innovative project. ”
With the online teaching experience and innovative nature that our faculty and administrators bring to the table, the Internet Academy is poised to continue as a leader in the world of online teaching and learning.