Best Online Colleges in West Virginia

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Several online colleges in West Virginia belong to the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS), which was launched four years ago to help students earn a Regents bachelor of arts. The program has since awarded 5,000 credit hours to online students and currently offers more than 40 courses with compressed time frames, work experience course credits, and evening/weekend classes. Beginning in fall 2016, a $500,000 grant will be used to install video equipment for synchronous learning.

West Virginia is also a participant in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Academic Common Market, which allows students in the Southeast to earn in-state tuition in West Virginia. There are 16 participating states in the program. West Virginia is also a part of the Electronic Campus system, which combines programs across universities to offer 37,000 online courses and 3,400 degree programs for students to choose from.

For more information about pursuing online courses in West Virginia, the College Foundation of West Virginia is an excellent resource. Its website allows students to apply to multiple schools at once, fill out a practice application, and explore schools that match the specific criteria they are looking for.

2016 Online Education Trends Report: Learn how online programs are changing the face of higher education.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1

West Virginia University

 2/557.25%Morgantown, WV

campus-west-virginia-university

WVU offers a regents bachelor of arts degree, a program tailored to help nontraditional students complete a college degree. In addition to credit earned from regular college classes, credit can be earned for work, life, and military experience. ACCESS WVU allows students to enroll in select online college classes while still finishing their high school education.

All online students at West Virginia University have access to an online portal, a university MIX email, mobile access to the library, and eCampus access to online classes.

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2

Wheeling Jesuit University

 4/563.74%Wheeling, WV

campus-wheeling-jesuit-university

Aside from the RN to BSN online program at Wheeling Jesuit University, online courses are exclusively for students who have already attained a bachelor’s degree.

The Accelerated Certificate for Teachers prepares graduates for a career teaching grades five through adult. This includes a student teaching component. The master’s in education leadership can be completed in just under a year and prepares graduates for certification as a principal, superintendent, or supervisor or instruction. Those who have already completed a master’s degree can move straight into the superintendent licensure program.

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3

Bluefield State College

 2/533.7%Bluefield, WV

campus-bluefield-state-college

Bluefield State College is one of the newer institutions in the state. Students can take online classes through two online delivery systems, Moodle and Blackboard. The college offers the regents bachelor of arts degree program, allowing college credit to be earned for work, life, and military experience in addition to credit earned from regular college classes.

Some classes at BSU offer a web-based video component to help students connect with each other and their instructor. Before enrolling for distance learning classes at Bluefield, students should ensure that exams will be delivered online, as some are proctored on campus.

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4

University of Charleston

 3/535.05%Charleston, WV

campus-university-of-charleston

The University of Charleston is ideal for students pursuing the field of psychology. Most online classes follow an eight-week block structure, but bachelor’s degrees are still designed to be finished in approximately four years.

The university provides a variety of resources and tutorials for distance learners. Online tools include the eLearn program Chalk and Wire—where online assignments can be submitted—discussion forums, and access to the Kaltura program, where video assignments can be submitted.

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5

West Virginia State University

 2/524.5%Institute, WV

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West Virginia State University offers three degrees fully online. Business administration concentrates in management skills, though the program includes all aspects of business administration. The criminal justice degree program offers specializations in generalist, law enforcement, corrections, or investigation. The online English degree focuses on business and technical writing.

Online courses at WVSU are facilitated through the Center for Online Learning. The school has recently transitioned from using Blackboard to using an in-house virtual learning environment powered by an open-source learning management system. Students also have access to online tutoring at Smarthinking.com

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6

Alderson Broaddus University

 4/545.22%Philippi, WV

Alderson Broaddus Online is ideal for students pursuing nursing degrees. The program is highly ranked and can be completed in approximately 18 months of full-time study. Individual courses are taught in eight-week blocks, credit may be given for life and work experience, and there is no hospital clinical rotation required.

Each student is assigned a student support liaison to ensure their individual success. Classes begin in January and July and can be tailored to fit any schedule.

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7

Davis & Elkins College

 4/537.21%Elkins, WV

Davis and Elkins College offers an online RN-BSN program. The program is designed for registered nurses to complete their bachelor’s degrees while working full-time. Students gain clinical experience through their regular jobs and can even apply up to 24 units towards their degree based on two years of full-time work as an RN.

Students have 12 months to complete the program. With classes of only 30 students, individualized attention is a cornerstone of the RN-BSN program at Davis and Elkins College.

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8

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

 1/530.42%Parkersburg, WV

Students at WVUP can complete several associate degrees entirely online. This makes it a great choice for those just starting their degree. It is also possible to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing or in childhood development.

Courses are offered through Pearson Learning Studio. Online students also have access to the same resources as traditional students, including advisers, career services, and counseling. Prospective students should note that the online degree in childhood development requires field experience, a practicum, and a proctored field test.

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More About Online Colleges in West Virginia

To reach a broader student base and encourage a higher student enrollment, schools in West Virginia have expanded their online course offerings in recent years. While tuition and fees at public, four-year West Virginia colleges have increased by 32.8% over the last five years, state funding for postsecondary education has decreased significantly since the 2008 recession. Accordingly, students have begun pursuing online programs in greater numbers, attracted by the lower costs inherent in web education.

Browse our list of the best online colleges in West Virginia for more insight into distance learning programs in this state.

NCES Report

As of fall 2012 enrollment, NCES reports indicate that 37.8% (47,917) of students in West Virginia’s Title IV institutions enrolled in exclusively online programs.

  • 4.8% of students at four-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 5.9% of students at two-year institutions studied entirely online
  • 8.5% were living in West Virginia
  • 84.3% were living elsewhere in the United States

West Virginia has initiated several measures to provide higher education options to a broader student base and to increase the number of qualified professionals in the local workforce. Through the 15 to Finish initiative, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission encourages all college students to enroll in at least 15 credits in a two-year or four-year program. Additionally, the WVU Tech Revitalization Committee was assembled to “recruit, retain and rebuild” technology-based programs at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology; graduates are qualified to work well-paying jobs in local industries.

As one of the state’s largest providers of online degrees and certificate programs, West Virginia State University has developed the Center for Online Learning. It helps educators learn to use web-based tools and new technology in their classrooms as they build effective online learning methods. Additionally, the West Virginia Department of Education has implemented Hit the Ground Running, an online pre-employment certification program that helps adult learners pursue professional training in a career of their choice. Altogether, these initiatives demonstrate West Virginia’s commitment to online education. Students interested in an online program will find several excellent options in West Virginia’s colleges and universities.