Lone Star College System: Online campus and additional e-learning opportunities for Fall 2022

HOUSTON, Texas – Beginning in August, the Lone Star College System will open its eighth campus to allow students to earn their degrees entirely online. The college could in the future offer its online programs to students across the country and internationally, officials said.

The video above is from a 2021 report: More Texas students are being homeschooled amid the COVID-19 pandemic

According to an April 11 press release from the LSCS, the new campus was added in response to demand for virtual learning and has been in the works for nearly a decade.

LSCS officials said in an email that the development of the new campus added about $2 million to the system’s overall existing budget and also expanded the scope of its e-learning offerings.

Seelpa Keshvala, Vice Chancellor of LSCS and CEO of LSC-Online, said in a phone interview that the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for additional virtual learning options.

“We know students who took online classes before the pandemic and then suddenly were forced to take them (online),” Keshvala said. “We’re really trying to meet the demand that we’re seeing.”

The campus will start with 40 full-time employees from the higher education system, she said.

Keshvala said the purpose of offering an online campus is to increase enrollment of students who may want to focus on an online education, including students outside of the district. Matthew Fuller, director of the Center for Assessment, Research and Educational Safety at Sam Houston State University, said the LSCS’s decision to launch the online campus follows a trend in the Houston area.

“I just think that COVID-(19) … has pushed more people to get online,” Fuller said. “Student attitudes towards online learning have changed.”

Broader-ranging colleges and universities have been able to switch to online learning during the pandemic because online options have existed for years. However, tackling learning loss in the past two years will not be universal, he said.

“For example, it can be harder to learn online with a nursing degree than with a math degree,” Fuller said. “Some programs need to mitigate this learning loss in other ways.”

Keshvala said target demographics could include military personnel and eventual international options. LSC-Online will launch with Keshvala’s top transfer degrees, including an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Science, and an Associate of Arts in Teaching.

Keshvala said degrees earned by LSC online students will be transferrable across Texas.

From April, the cost of enrolling in LSC-Online will be the same as visiting any LSCS campus. Information from LSCS states that the cost of enrolling for 12 fall semester credit hours for a student in the district is approximately $1,080.

This article is courtesy of our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspapers.

https://abc13.com/lsc-online-lone-star-college-system-online-campus-learning/11850202/ Lone Star College System: Online campus and additional e-learning opportunities for Fall 2022

Dais Johnston

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