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Distance Learning for Degree Completion for Working Adults

The growth rate among distance learning programs among higher education institutions worldwide is increasing rapidly, and many students in these programs are working adults. In a 2012 Sloan Consortium report, it was noted that more than 93% of higher education programs expected their online enrollments to increase substantially between 2011 and 2013. A longitudinal study conducted by the Sloan Consortium indicated that the overall online enrollment in higher education increased 22.4% between 2002 and 2011. Financial incentives are largely responsible for the growth. This entry discusses the prevalence of working adults using distance learning for degree completion, strategies for engaging working adults in distance learning programs, and considerations in designing distance learning degree programs for working adults.

In 2011, the distance education in higher education section ...

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