There is a diverse profile of the online university, which continues to redefine itself in new ways that are quite different from the traditional campus profile. This entry will help establish the specific types of organizations that may be defined as true “online universities,” differentiating them from universities that simply have some of their activities and programs online. This entry also provides context for establishing a broad and inclusive working definition of online universities.

One definition of online university is that of an institutional structure that may be either for-profit or nonprofit in terms of corporate structure; is specifically designed to offer distributed education, including degrees; and which declares itself to be an “online university.” This definition assumes that the way in which courses and ...

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