Night classes, online offerings meet OTC student needs

Night classes, online offerings meet OTC student needs

Contact

College Director of Communications
417.447.2655 publicinfo@otc.edu
Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

By Steve Koehler

Balancing a college class schedule with a work schedule can be a tricky task but very common, and the numbers prove it.

A snapshot of students attending Ozarks Technical Community College this fall showed 75 percent of the students were planning to work, with 90 percent of them working more than 20 hours a week.

To help students balance work and school, OTC officials this fall began offering several Allied Health courses at night.

“To accommodate work schedules is the primary reason for offering the night courses. We also have several homemakers who do not have childcare during the day,” said Stephen Bishop, dean of Allied Health.  

For those who couldn’t come on campus, OTC has expanded its online course offerings. As a result, the number of students taking Web-based courses increased 28 percent over last fall. There are 3,936 students enrolled in at least one online course this Fall. 

While the average age of an OTC student taking a seated class is 26, the average age of an online student is 29 who tend to have a heavy work schedule.

“Older students have jobs, families, and lots of other commitments that make online learning not only more attractive but really the only viable way to pursue a higher education,” said C. DeWitt Salley, Jr., director of Online Teaching and Learning.

Kelly Jackson of Springfield, who works 30 hours a week and takes four classes online, said it would be impossible for her to go to college if it wasn’t for online courses being available.

“I can do my homework on Saturday or at night. It’s very convenient,” said Jackson, who plans to earn her Associate of Arts degree in education and then transfer to a four-year college or university.

“There’s no way I could make time to go to a seated class.”

Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College.