Cal State Fullerton and other participating CSU schools are now offering an online degree-completion program for students hoping to earn their bachelor and master’s degrees but are otherwise unable to attend class on campus.
Cal State Online is a system-wide collection of services that support the delivery of fully online programs from campuses and provides support services for students.
According to the CSU, the objective is to help students focus on obtaining their degrees, which includes 24/7 support from faculty.
“It’s not available for typical undergraduate students,” said Ed Trotter, acting associate vice president of undergraduate programs. “A student who is walking around on campus right now can’t enroll in it.”
Trotter said the program is designed for students who can not come to the university due to distance or other circumstances.
“It’s a self-support program, meaning that the students in that program pay higher fees,” Trotter said. “Financially, we run it through extended education.”
Tuition for CSUF’s Bachelor of Arts in business administration degree is $500 a unit, according to Cal State Online.
The program is also known as a degree completion program, Trotter added, which was specifically designed for students who work all day or live far from campus.
Daniel Garcia, 26, a psychology major, said the online degree program makes sense.
“Being at work, being at school, it can take a toll, and if that’s something that can help a student out, I agree with it,” said Garcia.
The primary group of students benefiting from Cal State Online are those looking to complete their degree after leaving CSUF without completing the requirements or obtaining a master’s degree, said Mike Uhlenkamp, director of media relations and new media for the CSU Office of the Chancellor.
Uhlenkamp said that with Cal State Online, students who have completed some amount of coursework in the past have the ability to complete the degree they otherwise don’t have the opportunity of finishing because they are unable to attend the campus.
Cal State Online has been in the works since 2010. Though there are only several participating universities in the CSU at the moment, the program will grow throughout the coming year.
According to Uhlenkamp, CSUF’s already existing online degree completion program in business administration was moved under the Cal State Online umbrella.
About 30 students are currently participating in Cal State Online for CSUF.
“Cal State Online is the platform for the delivery of online programs,” Uhlenkamp said. “There will be several different programs running through this.”
There are six programs students can currently apply for: Bachelor of Arts in business administration at CSUF; Master of Science in instructional science and technology and Master of Science in management and information technology at Cal State Monterey Bay; Bachelor of Science in applied studies and Master of business administration and Master of public administration with specialized concentration strands at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
While there are more programs currently still in development, Cal State Northridge, Cal State East Bay and Cal State Fresno will be accepting applications for their online programs later in the year.
Partaking in Cal State Online is not the same as taking an online course at CSUF because it allows more flexibility revolving around the students’ schedules.
“It’s not courses, you don’t actually participate in a course,” Uhlenkamp said. “You don’t take a math class, you don’t take a journalism class, you take the entire program that’s fully online.”