SRJC awarded $460,000 for online career education

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SRJC awarded $460,000 for online career education

Students often rely on online education to work school in their busy schedules.

Students often rely on online education to work school in their busy schedules.

Courtesy of SRJC

Students often rely on online education to work school in their busy schedules.

Courtesy of SRJC

Courtesy of SRJC

Students often rely on online education to work school in their busy schedules.

Zane Zinkl, News Editor

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The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office awarded Santa Rosa Junior College $460,000 to expand online pathways for career and technical education and to help create more  fully-online courses and certificates.

During the 2017-18 academic year, 32% of all SRJC students took one or more online classes and 15% enrolled only in online classes.

According to their website, SRJC currently offers a wide variety of online courses as well as online certificates and degrees. Online courses provide a more flexible alternative to traditional instruction and allow students to access learning any time anywhere with computers or mobile devices.

“Online classes have allowed me to be home with my daughter while maintaining a full-time job,” said SRJC student Teresa Beltran, “I feel it has helped with creating a balance in my life.”

SRJC’s Office of Distance Education will administer the grant and work with faculty to produce online courses so more students can take advantage of this format to complete certificates.

“The classes created through this grant will not just expand the selection of courses available online, but will add features such as welcome videos, interactive discussion forums and adaptive learning elements that will engage students in the learning process and ultimately improve their chances of success,” said Lisa Beach, SRJC’s director of distance education.

With the grant SRJC instructors will be able to experiment with new technology and give faculty access to open educational resources, which could reduce costs for students.

According to SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong, online courses are the most rapidly growing part of the SRJC curriculum.This grant will go a long way in helping us ensure that our online programs are on par with the outstanding classroom education we have provided to Sonoma County for more than 100 years,” Chong said.