Top Online Colleges in Connecticut

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The higher education landscape in Connecticut features one of the most renowned universities in the country, a 17-college state system, and many other renowned public and private schools. The state’s Office of Higher Education administers state student financial aid programs, licenses and accredits independent colleges and universities, and oversees private occupational schools. The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education governs Connecticut’s state colleges and universities, which include 12 community colleges, four state universities, and an online college, Charter Oak State College.

Major initiatives of the board include improving college readiness; supporting collaboration among early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce training; developing a system for linking together public K-12 and postsecondary education and labor data; increasing the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education; and responding to the state’s workforce needs in the development and refinement of academic programs. Many of the state’s institutions of higher education have made their programs more accessible through online classes and, in some cases, even free through Open Courseware. Here’s a look at some of the distance learning initiatives available through three top Connecticut universities.

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut, or UConn, is one of the top public universities in the country. It is ranked among the best national universities on U.S. News & World Report‘s 2012 “Best Colleges Rankings.” It’s also widely considered a Public Ivy, meaning it provides an Ivy League collegiate experience, but at a public school price. The school’s main campus is in Storrs, though it has five other campuses located through the Hartford region, all together serving more than 30,000 students. It is the only public university in New England with its own Schools of Law, Social Work, Medicine and Dentistry. Through the school’s online program, students can take graduate degree or certificate programs in the areas of professional studies, homeland security, human resource management, humanitarian services administration, or disability services. The school also offers online college courses at the undergraduate level and a non-credit program in health care information technology.

Yale University

Founded in 1701, Yale University is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the country. One of the eight Ivy Leagues, it’s also one of the most prestigious schools in the United States. Currently it is ranked third on U.S. News & World Report‘s list of the best schools in the country, where it was also recognized as a best value school and noted for its undergraduate teaching, graduate schools in business, engineering, law, and medicine, and for its online nursing program. As far as distance learning goes, the university also offers undergraduate courses online and, through Open Yale Courses, the school also provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by teachers and scholars at the university. These courses do not lead to any course credit, degree, or certificate.

Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University is one of four universities in the Connecticut State University System, which is the largest public university system in the state. More than 11,000 students attend Southern, which is located near downtown New Haven and was named among the top universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report in the 2012 edition of its Best Colleges rankings. The school was founded in 1893 as a teacher’s college and has since expanded to become a comprehensive university, offering 114 graduate and undergraduate programs. Classes are also offered online through Southern’s distance learning program. Students can take individual courses in departments such as business administration, computer science, education, business management and management information systems, nursing, psychology, political science, school health, social work, sociology, and theatre. The school also offers an online college degree program ó a master of library science ó that’s 100% online.

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