TTU offers first complete on-line degrees this fall

Beginning this fall, students can earn their bachelor's degrees from Tennessee Tech University with barely having set foot on the campus.

Already, four students have enrolled here in the program that has many people excited about the university's foray into the online degree-granting business. Many more have inquired about enrolling this fall.

The program is part of a larger effort by the Tennessee Board of Regents called the Regents Online Degree Program (RODP), which will allow students from anywhere in the world to enroll in any TBR college or university to earn one of three associate's degrees or two bachelor's degrees. TTU is a member of the TBR.

TTU will offer the bachelor of Professional Studies, with concentrations in either Information Technology or Organizational Leadership, and the bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in either general, liberal or university studies.

The program's focus is primarily on non-traditional students.

"This is a convenient option for those whose schedules, lives, jobs and other obligations don't allow them to fit into the 'traditional' student model," said TTU President Bob Bell. "Our target audience is a vastly underserved population when it comes to higher education in Tennessee," Bell said. "Those adult learners who may have some college credits but were never able to continue their studies will find this program tailored to them. This is one of the best ways we, as a system, can reach out to meet the needs of our citizens."

The plan could also eventually help TTU increase its enrollment. Students enrolling in the RODP choose their "home" institution, or the school that will grant their degrees, regardless of where they're located.

What makes the RODP program different from other online degrees is that it combines classes taught at TBR institutions across the state to comprise the full program. But that fact should be seamless to the student who studies in his or her living room at night.

"We've brought tremendous expertise and technological resources together to address a serious problem," says Provost Marvin Barker. "The potential for this program to address the issue of a more educated Tennessee is definitely there."

Costs for the program are the same as the home school's tuition rates plus an online course fee that equals 25% of the in-state tuition per credit hour. Students can register through August for the 12-week courses. For more information, call TTU Admissions at 372-3888 or 800-255-8881.