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Online Learning at Private Universities: A Survey of Chief Academic Officers

Published October 24th, 2013

How are private colleges navigating the waters of online education? A new survey from The Learning House, Inc., conducted in partnership with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) reveals some intriguing answers. In the report “Online Learning at Private Colleges and Universities: A Survey of Chief Academic Officers,” CIC institutions share how they are currently managing online education initiatives, addressing challenges, serving online students, and planning for the future.

For information about how public institutions are meeting the challenges of online higher education, download “Online Learning at Public Universities: Building a New Path to a College Degree.” The report surveys Chief Academic Officers from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Key Findings

  • Nearly all private colleges are using online learning. Approximately half of the CIC member institutions surveyed offer at least one fully online programs, and 90 percent offer at least one online or hybrid class. In contrast, more than 80 percent of AASCU members offer at least one fully online program and nearly half offer five or more fully online programs.
  • Student discipline is the greatest barrier to success. The vast majority of respondents said the greatest barrier to online program success that they have yet to overcome was the student discipline required to complete online courses.
  • Cutting tuition. Nearly one-third of CIC institutions charge less for online courses than residential courses; a significant influencer to cost-conscious.
  • Online learning can generate revenue. Nearly 20 percent of CIC members with online courses or programs are generating annual revenue of more than $1 million.
  • Compensation for course design, not delivery. Two-thirds of CIC institutions offer additional faculty compensation for the development of online courses, but less than one-third do so for the instruction of online classes.

Learn more about the strategies in this report.

Download the Report

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