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Online graduates celebrate commencement

Online graduates celebrate commencement

The variety of hometowns in the fall commencement program is a reflection of the speed at which online enrollments are growing at PSU.

Glance through a listing of the hometowns of Pittsburg State University fall 2016 graduates and certain cities jump out at you.

Yes, the expected locations of Pittsburg, Joplin, Overland Park and Wichita are there, but so too are New Orleans, Chicago, Charlotte and, in one case, Camp Humphreys, South Korea. It’s an indication of the growing popularity of Pittsburg State’s online degree programs.

“Our online students are just like those we have on campus,” said Pawan Kahol, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies. “The only difference is their schedules won’t allow them to attend in-person. Our online programs deliver the same quality academic programming and personal attention our students have come to expect from Pittsburg State.”

The university has seen its online offerings grow dramatically over the past few years. In fact, nearly 60 graduate degree programs, including Human Resource Development, Educational Technology, and Teaching, are now available completely online. It’s a number that has nearly doubled since 2011.

“It’s a reflection of the world in which we live,” said Kahol. “Our graduate students want to improve their lives and they know that an advanced degree is the best way to do it. Our online programs allow them to schedule their classwork around their lives and, ultimately, to earn their degree.”

Kahol understands the competitive nature of online degree programs, but believes Pittsburg State’s faculty allow the university to stand apart.

“Our faculty work hard to ensure that our online programs carry the in-class experience over to the electronic format,” said Kahol. “They go through training to ensure their teaching methods and curriculum will deliver that same level of quality.”

As the university continues to grow, so too, will its online programs.

“We’ll soon begin offering our MBA program completely online and additional programs are under planning in the Kelce College of Business and the College of Technology,” said Kahol. “This is an area in which we see great growth potential. We want to be able to offer students throughout the world the opportunity to become Gorillas.”

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