Celebrating Growth and Connection on National Online Learning Day

Celebrating Growth and Connection on National Online Learning Day

A students hands above a laptop keyboard typing.

Today, September 15, is National Online Learning Day: a day designed to showcase student success in online learning.

Ever since the launch of this day in 2016, more and more students are opting to learn online, and they are thriving. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 61 percent of all undergraduate students (9.4 million students) were enrolled in at least one distance education course in the fall of 2021 — nearly double the number in 2019. The community of online learners continues to grow for good reasons: students of all ages appreciate the many benefits, including increased access to a broader range of high-quality educational opportunities, more flexibility to balance education with other job or family commitments, and the ability to learn in new and innovative ways. Some students may also perform better in online settings and find it easier to access essential resources like writing centers, the library, IT support, academic advisors, and even teletherapy, all with the click of a keyboard.

If you are interested in expanding your skills and knowledge but don’t want to attend class in person, or you need the flexibility to manage multiple responsibilities or wish to attend a school that is far away, online learning may be the right choice for you.

Students who have made that choice for themselves advise others to start by doing research.There are many different online learning platforms and programs, so look for one that meets your needs in terms of cost, subject matter, and school reputation. Determine if the delivery format (video lectures, discussion boards, written materials, etc.) will work for your learning style. Consider what is most important in your learning process,” said Laurence Cass, who is pursuing Fairfield University’s Master of Public Health. “Is the physical location and live interaction with your professor and fellow students important, or is flexibility? Do you have confidence in yourself to adhere to the learning process? Are you curious enough to ask questions proactively of your professors or other resources?”

Connor Gayle, a student in Fairfield’s MS in Cybersecurity program, believes that having faculty who are accessible and engaged is what makes Fairfield's online programs stand out. He said, “The professors within the Cybersecurity program helped me adjust to graduate student life immediately, always having an open-door policy whether it was regarding my studies or concerns about professional development, outside life, or connecting with other students."

Connecting with classmates as well as professors helps students build a community and stay engaged with their coursework. Mark Welcome MA’22 a graduate of Fairfield’s MA in Educational Technology program said, “By far my favorite aspect of the program was the interactions with other students and the faculty."

Welcome added, "If I had to give a tip to future students in the program, I would tell them to fully engage in all of the discussions and communication opportunities with fellow students, as there is so much to be learned from the diversity of others’ experiences.”

Discover Fairfield University Online

Fairfield has 13 fully online master’s degree programs, two low-residency online doctoral programs, and 12 stackable online graduate certificate programs that can be completed independently or applied toward a full master’s degree. Nearly 30 percent of Fairfield’s graduate population is earning their degree online. This fall, Fairfield’s newest programs launched, including a Master of Science in Financial Technology, available as fully online or hybrid, and a fully online Master of Arts in Instructional Design.

Faculty and staff delivering online learning have the support of Fairfield’s Center for Academic Excellence, which encourages professional development, innovation, and scholarship in teaching and learning across Fairfield University.

The Academic Computing resource provides a broad range of software support to individual instructors who wish to experiment, innovate, and explore ways to incorporate technology into their coursework.

Sign Up for an Online Event 

Virtual meetings, webinars, online events, and live broadcasts bring top-notch learning to people wherever they are. Fairfield provides many opportunities for the Stag community to participate in events virtually. Ranging from academic lectures with industry experts like our Dolan Executive Forum, health and wellness-focused events like our virtual meditation and mindfulness, to livestreamed sporting events, the online options are plentiful.

 Consider adding a few of these upcoming events to your calendar:

Joining these and other upcoming events online is a great way for students, alumni, parents, friends, neighbors, and the Fairfield-curious to stay in the know even when not on campus. Of course, our campus is beautiful, so if you are in the area, please do stop by — we’d love to give you a tour.

To learn more about Fairfield University's online graduate programs visit fairfield.edu/online.

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