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As the country’s second most populated state, Texas has the educational background to accompany its motto, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” The state’s postsecondary education system consists of 46 public and 94 private, four-year colleges and universities, and 323 community and technical colleges. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is responsible for managing Texas’ postsecondary system. In 2000, the THECB established its “Closing the Gaps by 2015” plan. The goals of this plan are to increase the number of students attending and successfully earning a degree from postsecondary institutions, the national recognition of Texas’ education programs, and research funding in the science and engineering realms by 2015.
The Learning Technology Advisory Committee (LTAC) compliments this plan by recognizing how the online and distance education options can help the state meet the goals outlined in the “Closing the Gaps by 2015” plan. The LTAC works to make in-demand, high-quality online education programs available to students who need the flexibility and convenience such programs offer. An online program is sometimes the only option many working adults have to earn the education they need for their careers, making online programs not only a marketable option for schools to offer, but a necessary one. Below you can find some of the top colleges that offer online degrees and courses in the state of Texas.
Texas Tech University opened its doors in 1923; today, it has more than 30,000 students and is a major research university. It offers 150 bachelor’s, 100 master’s, and 50 doctoral degrees from its 11 colleges. It is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 160 school in its Best National Universities ranking list. The university is located in Lubbock and has been a forerunner in the distance education arena for years. It offers online learners the choice of 40 online degrees and hundreds of online courses. Some of its online degrees include those in architecture, engineering, agriculture, software engineering, and counselor education. The majority of Texas Tech’s online degree programs are purely online, though some are in hybrid format.
Another of the lone star state’s top colleges with online degrees is the University of North Texas UNT). Located in Denton, this university was founded in 1890. It has about 36,000 students and offers 97 undergraduate and 117 masters’ and doctoral degrees through it 12 colleges. Additionally, it has a robust list of online college course and degree options. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in such subjects as rehabilitation counseling, educational psychology, learning technologies, hospitality management, and marketing among many others. It even offers online honors college courses and accelerated programs to online and on-campus students. UNT online students complete courses on their own schedules while utilizing various tools, such as e-mail, forums, videoconferences, and the like to stay in contact with their instructors.
Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is another of Texas’ top online universities. Founded in 1901 as the Girls Industrial College, it has grown to be one of the U.S.’s largest universities meant principally for women. It is located in Denton and offers online college degree programs and courses at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Some of its programs are completion programs, which allow students to finish the degree they began at another school. TWU’s online courses and degrees are offered in fully online and hybrid formats. Hybrid programs require students’ participation in online format for between 50% and 85% of the time spent on a course or degree; the remaining 15% to 50% is spent on campus. If they qualify, students also have the option to participate in TWU’s Epsilon Omega Epsilon honor society, which opens up online students’ professional network and enables them to stay in touch with their online peers.