Alabama is currently testing the waters with online K-12 schools, including two pilot high schools launched in 2013, and two additional schools – Pine County Virtual High School and Mobile County Public School System Envision Virtual School – scheduled to open in 2015. Alabama currently offers supplemental learning online for students in grades 6-12, but none for K-5 as of yet. In 2008, Alabama established an online learning requirement for K-12 students, only the second state in the nation to do so. Almost all K-12 online courses in Alabama are completed through the ACCESS Distance Learning system, and students can also take online courses for community college credit.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|ACCESS Distance Learning||9 - 12||Montgomery||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(334) 242-9594|
Web-based courses and degree programs are available at many of Alabama’s four-year public universities, private universities, community colleges and technical colleges. Because these schools are accountable to the Alabama Commission of Higher Education, they are fully accredited. Some of the online schools in Alabama include The University of Alabama, Alabama State University, Auburn University at Montgomery and Lawson State Community College at Birmingham. There are also several for-profit, private institutions that offer online courses, certificates and degrees. However, these institutions are not governed by the Alabama Commission of Higher Education.
There are 25 comprehensive community colleges in the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), which is governed by the State Board of Education. The ACCS includes the Marion Military Institute, one of just five junior military colleges in the nation, as well as a workforce development initiative called the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). The ACCS serves roughly 300,000 students every year, including 100,000 credit course enrollees.
The ACCS has demonstrated a committed to accessibility. Campuses are spread across the state, conveniently accessible from virtually anywhere in Alabama. The ACCS also offers open enrollment, low tuition and a range of programs and services that remove barriers to entering college and the workplace.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Northwest-Shoals Community College||800 George Wallace Blvd||Muscle Shoals||+|
|Snead State Community College||102 Elder Street||Boaz||+|
Alabama also has three public technical colleges: Ingram State Technical College (ING), Reid State Technical College (REI) and Trenholm State Technical College (TRE).
Aside from Alabama’s extensive public, state-run education network, there are also 15 private colleges, universities and academies in the state. These institutions have their own governing bodies and are not accountable to the State Department of Education. From small religious schools to athletic academies, private colleges in Alabama offer prospective students even greater educational diversity.
Best Online Schools in Alabama for 2015-2016
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
|1||Heritage Christian University||99.87||5:1||100%|
Known for producing effective communicators, preachers, teachers and missionaries, Heritage Christian University offers parallel degree programs to their on-campus option through their Distance Learning Program. Degrees offered include: Associate Arts in Biblical Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts, Master of Ministry, and Master of Divinity. All students, no matter what program they anticipate finishing, will complete coursework in biblical studies. Most courses are digitally recorded and delivered through a web-based course management system. While online classes are accessible and don't require day-to-day attendance on campus, students are required to take all final exams on campus.
|2||Alabama State University||99.57||16:1||93%|
With a long-standing tradition as a "Teacher's College," Alabama State University offers five graduate programs and one undergraduate program online. True to form, online teaching degrees offered include: Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Library Education. Other degrees include a Master's Degree in Applied Technology, a Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy and an undergraduate Psychology degree. Class content and assignments are the same as on-campus classes and all online classes are delivered through the learning management tool, Blackboard. Courses are available any time of day and online students are given the same support services as students on-campus.
Troy University's eTroy program offers a diverse and plentiful choice of associate, undergraduate, graduate, and certifications through their online learning program. With more than 70 programs to choose from, degree options are vast at Troy University. Using the Blackboard Learning Management System, students complete all of their coursework online through assignments, discussions and online assessments. The program is designed for self-motivated learners and some programs can be completed in as quickly as one year. In addition to college coursework, the University's unique ACCELERATE dual enrollment online program allows high school students to earn college credit while still in high school. Scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Unlike many higher-ed institutions, Amridge University focuses almost entirely on online education. Distance learning is the primary instructional delivery system for all of their programs including: liberal studies, bachelor's programs ranging from biblical studies to management and masters programs including marriage and family therapy and divinity. Amridge uses Blackboard Learning Management System to deliver all course content and offers 15 week, 10 week and 8 week courses. Because the school focuses on online learning, several programs are available in addition to Blackboard including Smarthinking, which gives students access to live online tutors. There are several library resource tools that connect students with necessary materials despite their location.
Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Faulkner University aims to combine online degree programs with a Christian environment. Online programs include a variety of degrees including associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate programs. The programs are designed for busy professionals looking for a career or advancement in their current field through continued education. The school features both affordable tuition and accelerated programs for a fast-track to graduation. With 117 full time faculty, students can expect quality online classes in degree programs like Criminal Justice, Executive MBA, or Master of Education. The school offers special benefits for active military and veterans and is fully accredited.
The Organizational Management degree offered through Oakwood University's LEAP Adult Degree Completion Program aims to help students develop the management skills that will help them become effective managers, supervisors, leaders and entrepreneurs. The LEAP program aims to help adults who are 25 and older who may be employed full time to complete their degrees while continuing to work. While a hybrid on-campus/online program is an option, the school also offers a fully online format for the Organizational Management degree. 128 total credit hours are required for completion of the degree. Classes offered include Foundations of Management, Personnel Management, and Group and Organizational Dynamics.
|7||University of West Alabama||98.16||16:1||95%|
The University of West Alabama (UWA) offers multiple online degrees in the College of Business and also a Bachelor of Science in the College of Education. UWA arranges online classes in five 8-week terms per year. A full-load is two classes (or six credit hours) per term. Thus, students can complete 30 credit hours in one year. This calendar system is set up to give UWA students the flexibility to learn and succeed at their individual paces. In addition to the undergraduate courses offered, UWA has multiple graduate online programs available in the Colleges of Business, Education, and Liberal Arts.
|8||Alabama A & M University||97.87||15:1||97%|
While Alabama A&M University (AAMU) was founded in 1875, its online program is fairly new. The university recently launched its first completely online program in Business Management. AAMU Online is geared for all its students, whether they are freshmen, returners, or non-traditional students also working. The online classroom setting gives students the ability to have more one-on-one interactions with professors and still get to know other students in order to experience a diverse community-just as one would on a college campus. AAMU offers a Distance Learning Help Desk specifically created to help students with any technical issues related to online classes.
|9||Jacksonville State University||97.58||18:1||93%|
At Jacksonville State University (JSU), there is a surplus of master programs offered completely online. With the help of a few undergraduate degrees also available online, JSU offers over 30 online programs. There are also hundreds of online classes offered for programs not completely online. The university's online system is setup predominantly with Blackboard Learn LMS. This system offers an advanced online classroom setting by facilitating communication between professors and students, coordinating activities, and presenting course content. All while having the user-friendly tools available to students in order to lessen technical difficulties that are associated with online courses.
|10||University of Alabama at Birmingham||97.32||18:1||90%|
As a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited university, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offers multiple online programs recognized professionally. UAB eLearning was created with the intent to cater to working students. The university offers three different modes of online programs: online, distance accessible, and blended. The majority of eLearning classes are completely online. However, distance accessible classes involve online content with periodic on-campus intensives and blended classes offer half the content online with the remainder being taught on-campus. UAB has a wide variety of minors, bachelor degrees, and master programs offered 100 percent online.
|11||Auburn University at Montgomery||97.06||16:1||90%|
Auburn University at Montgomery gears its online programs to students as a supplement to other degrees in respect to its bachelor programs. It offers an online program for a certificate in American Society and Culture for foreign students. This program is designed to add students' current degrees. Another undergraduate degree offered completely online is the RN to BSN (EARN) program. EARN is a three-semester program for RNs with a diploma or associate degree looking to further their education and receive a B.S.N. The courses offered online at AUM are taught by the same professors that teach on-campus courses.
|12||University of South Alabama||96.99||19:1||91%|
At the University of South Alabama (USA), there are multiple online programs and courses available to its students. Not only are four-year programs offered online, but also two-year upper division courses for transfer students or those that choose to finish their degrees online. USA has over 250 online courses available every year in order to give students with busy schedules the accessibility to a quality education. Currently, USAonline offers both a B.A. and B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies and an associate degree within the nursing program, along with numerous graduate programs 100 percent online.
|13||University of Alabama in Huntsville||96.92||16:1||87%|
A fully-online RN to BSN program is available from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), which incorporates such virtual learning tools as Canvas, Panopto, Blackboard and videoconferencing. Achievable in two full-time semesters (with a part-time option available), students are encouraged to attend one full-day, on-campus orientation at the program's start. UAH offers two paths to a BSN degree: a traditional one for first-time nursing students, and a program for those who already hold a diploma or associate degree in the subject.
Auburn University offers numerous online courses in a range of undergraduate programs. However, the only program completely offered online is the College of Business' BS in Accountancy. The online accounting program is identical to the one on-campus. So much so, the on-campus classes are recorded and then streamed for online students to watch either live or at a later convenient time. The online program therefore follows the same academic calendar as that on-campus. Auburn Online's goal is to provide convenient access of the university's provided education for students in any location, whether it is at home or work.
|15||The University of Alabama||88.34||21:1||75%|
Bama By Distance, the University of Alabama's distance learning program, has degree options that include online, video conferencing, evening and weekend formats. More than 30 online degrees are available, including bachelor's degrees in commerce and business administration, human environmental sciences and nursing. An early college program allows high-achieving high school students to get a head start on college, before earning their high school diploma. And a GoArmyEd partnership helps active service members meet their educational goals, even if they're overseas. UA's New College LifeTrack lets student earn credits toward a bachelor's degree for past life and work experience.
|16||Athens State University||87.53||17:1||N/A|
Athens State University offers 13 online degree programs and several certificate options to students, including some unique programs. Aspiring teachers can earn non-licensure degrees in technical education with specializations in instructional design, military instructor, post-secondary education and early instructor. Other degrees include management of technology, logistics and supply chain management, information assurance and others. ASU's traditional degree programs also have some online options. Its goals include graduating lifelong learners who are effective communicators and have a global understanding of human cultures and the global society.
|17||United States Sports Academy||86.94||8:1||N/A|
Aspiring sports science professionals can earn an online bachelor's, master's or doctorate from the United States Sports Academy. Classes are asynchronous through the Canvas learning system, so students can log in and complete assignments when it's convenient for them. And classes begin whenever the student is ready, at any time during the year. A 16-week time limit is assigned to each class and active duty military personnel have 18 weeks for each class. Students have access to the Academy library and writing tutorials. The USSA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.
There are 14 public four-year universities in Alabama, all of which offer reduced tuition for in-state residents. Known for excellence in academics and athletics, Alabama’s large four-year institutions are highly coveted destination schools for students across the country. These schools include Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Athens State University, Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, Jacksonville State University, The University of Alabama, Troy University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Montevallo, University of North Alabama, University of South Alabama and University of West Alabama.
Alabama’s private universities are equally dedicated to providing a quality education to their students. The private institutions in the state are Ambridge University, Birmingham Southern College, Concordia College, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, Judson College, Miles College, Oakwood University, Samford University, Spring Hill College, Stillman College, Talladega College, Tuskegee University, United States Sports Academy and University of Mobile.
Whether students enroll in a public or private university, they get the tools they need to be successful in their chosen careers. Online schools in Alabama, as well as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, prepare students to work in a number of fields, including the biggest industries in the state. Alabama’s diverse economy includes top business sectors such as aerospace, automotive, biotech, chemical and steel.
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Alabama A & M University||Public||4900 Meridian Street||Normal||+|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||Public||Administration Bldg Suite 1070||Birmingham||+|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||Public||301 Sparkman Dr||Huntsville||+|
|Heritage Christian University||Private not-for-profit||3625 Helton Dr||Florence||+|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||Public||7440 East Drive||Montgomery||+|
|Faulkner University||Private not-for-profit||5345 Atlanta Hwy||Montgomery||+|
|The University of Alabama||Public||739 University Blvd||Tuscaloosa||+|
|Oakwood University||Private not-for-profit||7000 Adventist Blvd NW||Huntsville||+|
|Troy University||Public||University Avenue||Troy||+|
University of Alabama (Bama by Distance)
The University of Alabama is the largest university in the state and the flagship school in the public university system. Its groundbreaking distance learning program, Bama by Distance, allows students to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral-level degrees online.
Bama by Distance is specifically designed for adult learners who have been out of high school for a few years. The students in these programs earn the same degrees as their on-campus counterparts. Students pay a flat, hourly tuition rate and are not subject to in-state or out-of-state tuition fees, no matter where they live. Federal financial aid is available, as are scholarships through the College of Continuing Studies.
Bama by Distance offers individual courses, as well as full degree programs, with special divisions for active military and veterans. For those pursuing full degrees, Bama by Distance has nearly a dozen options, including arts and sciences, commerce and business administration, communication and information sciences, education, engineering, high school programs, human environmental sciences, law, nursing and social work.
For more information, visit Bama by Distance’s online program page at http://bamabydistance.ua.edu.
Auburn University (Auburn Online)
With more than 20,000 enrollees, Auburn University is one of the largest public online schools in Alabama. Auburn Online caters to a wide range of educational needs and student goals by offering not only undergrad and graduate programs, but also professional credit programs, such as training and certification courses. For those who want to learn a new skill or hobby, Auburn Online also offers personal enrichment programs, ranging from crafts to financial planning. Unique and comprehensive degree programs are available through their seven different colleges: agriculture, business, education, engineering, human sciences, liberal arts, and science and mathematics. Offerings for graduates have many of the same focuses, but also include architecture, design and construction.
Auburn University’s Biggio Center for Advanced Education works full-time to promote and enhance Auburn’s distance learning program. A unique and separate entity, the Biggio Center is a resource for students and one of the nation’s top academic development centers.
Calhoun Community College
John C. Calhoun Community College is the largest online school in Alabama’s vast community college network, offering more than 80 Web-based courses as well as a number of degrees and certificates, including associate degrees in general studies and business administration and certificates in software applications. In addition to offering full certificate and degree programs, Calhoun’s distance learning program allows students to accumulate credits that can be transferred to a four-year college or university.
Students have the option to take both Web-based courses and hybrid courses, in which the student receives a majority of education online, supplemented by some courses at a physical campus. Both hybrid and web-only courses cost the same as traditional, on-campus courses at Calhoun. Financial aid, loans, grants, scholarships and veterans’ aid may all be applied to tuition. Available courses include business, computer systems, technologies, nursing, health, fine arts, language and literature, social sciences, math and natural sciences.
Visit Calhoun’s distance learning website at http://www.calhoun.edu/.
Alabama State University
Alabama State University is a historically African-American school that offers online classes through the learning management system Blackboard. This allows students to complete assignments and attend classes without ever entering a classroom.
Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus
Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is among several online schools in Alabama that participate in the Electronic Campus program. Electronic Campus is a network established by the Southern Regional Education Board, which promotes distance learning at colleges and universities throughout the Southern United States.
Best for Future Service Members
Alabama may be the heart of Dixie, but it’s also home to many colleges and degree tracks with ROTC programs. Students who prioritize service to their country will find many four-year degree granting, nonprofit institutions, including two ROTC programs. Whether the students chooses ROTC for the Army, Navy or Air Force, service opportunities are available while completing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Below are some online schools in Alabama that offer economical education opportunities to service-minded students.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|Auburn University||$7,872||Auburn University||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|University of South Alabama||$6,360||Mobile||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||$6,798||Birmingham||Yes||No||Yes|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||$7,500||Montgomery||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Montevallo||$8,790||Montevallo||Yes||No||Yes|
|The University of Alabama||$9,200||Tuscaloosa||Yes||No||Yes|
|University of Mobile||$17,110||Mobile||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
If you’re looking for high-quality colleges and universities in the South, look no further than Alabama. Some online schools in Alabama feature a number of degree programs, while others focus on a specific field. No matter what their scholarly interest, students are typically seeking a strong, personalized education without overcrowding. The following Alabama colleges enroll more than 4,000 students, but have average classroom sizes of fewer than 20 students per instructor. These nonprofit, four-year schools boast the best student-teacher ratios in the state.
|University of North Alabama||20 to 1||7,260||$5,328||Public||Florence|
|Jacksonville State University||20 to 1||9,671||$7,950||Public||Jacksonville|
|Alabama A & M University||19 to 1||4,582||$5,592||Public||Normal|
|Troy University||19 to 1||25,182||$5,976||Public||Troy|
|The University of Alabama||19 to 1||28,718||$9,200||Public||Tuscaloosa|
|Stillman College||18 to 1||1,201||$13,548||Private not-for-profit||Tuscaloosa|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||18 to 1||12,962||$6,798||Public||Birmingham|
|Auburn University||18 to 1||21,429||$7,872||Public||Auburn University|
|University of West Alabama||17 to 1||2,454||$6,170||Public||Livingston|
|University of Montevallo||17 to 1||2,785||$8,790||Public||Montevallo|
|Athens State University||17 to 1||4,690||$4,590||Public||Athens|
|Alabama State University||17 to 1||5,541||$6,312||Public||Montgomery|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||16 to 1||5,424||$7,500||Public||Montgomery|
|Selma University||15 to 1||610||$5,640||Private not-for-profit||Selma|
|Faulkner University||15 to 1||3,637||$15,730||Private not-for-profit||Montgomery|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||15 to 1||6,983||$8,794||Public||Huntsville|
|Southeastern Bible College||14 to 1||211||$11,700||Private not-for-profit||Birmingham|
|United States Sports Academy||14 to 1||233||$11,880||Private not-for-profit||Daphne|
|Huntingdon College||14 to 1||1,339||$19,988||Private not-for-profit||Montgomery|
|Miles College||14 to 1||1,967||$10,224||Private not-for-profit||Fairfield|
|Oakwood University||14 to 1||2,130||$14,530||Private not-for-profit||Huntsville|
|Birmingham Southern College||13 to 1||1,354||$29,600||Private not-for-profit||Birmingham|
|Spring Hill College||13 to 1||1,488||$27,670||Private not-for-profit||Mobile|
|University of Mobile||13 to 1||1,781||$17,110||Private not-for-profit||Mobile|
|Talladega College||12 to 1||939||$10,175||Private not-for-profit||Talladega|
|Tuskegee University||12 to 1||2,721||$18,100||Private not-for-profit||Tuskegee|
|Amridge University||11 to 1||522||$7,380||Private not-for-profit||Montgomery|
|Samford University||11 to 1||3,096||$24,570||Private not-for-profit||Birmingham|
|Huntsville Bible College||10 to 1||131||$3,120||Private not-for-profit||Huntsville|
|Judson College||9 to 1||388||$14,200||Private not-for-profit||Marion|
|Heritage Christian University||4 to 1||82||$8,952||Private not-for-profit||Florence|
Best for Women in Technology
Many online schools in Alabama work hard at creating an educational environment where women in the technology and engineering fields can flourish. We’ve compiled the very best of these programs and listed them below. These are colleges where women earning technology degrees can learn in classrooms with the same gender ratio as the rest of the campus body. Some of these Alabama colleges further ensure female students’ success by offering mentorships, all-women residence halls and centers dedicated to women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best Alabama colleges for women to earn their technology and engineering degrees.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Auburn University||$9,446||Auburn University||203||21,286||Public|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||$6,798||Birmingham||126||11,664||Public|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||$8,794||Huntsville||87||4,997||Public|
|The University of Alabama||$9,200||Tuscaloosa||87||27,295||Public|
|University of West Alabama||$7,320||Livingston||82||4,637||Public|
|University of South Alabama||$6,660||Mobile||51||11,372||Public|
|Alabama A & M University||$7,182||Normal||30||4,235||Public|
|Tuskegee University||$18,900||Tuskegee||22||3,060||Private Not for Profit|
|Jacksonville State University||$6,360||Jacksonville||15||6,423||Public|
|Samford University||$25,150||Birmingham||11||4,280||Private Not for Profit|
|Alabama State University||$7,932||Montgomery||7||4,600||Public|
|Oakwood University||$15,414||Huntsville||6||1,846||Private Not for Profit|
|Athens State University||N/A||Athens||6||1,518||Public|
Best Fighting for Families
Alabama values the health of families, and this can be seen in the state’s exceptional college programs dedicated to this branch of social work. Online schools in Alabama prepare graduates to assist in mental health facilities, schools, hospitals and anywhere children and families receive professional care. This training involves the very best in fieldwork, classes, clinical settings and experiential learning. Scholarship and fellowship assistance make these comprehensive programs affordable pursuits. In comparing Alabama colleges, we’ve looked at rankings, reputation, academic opportunities and other advantages and posted the results in the list below. These highlighted programs are the leading social work programs in Alabama for those interested in helping families.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa||262||237||25||$9,200||27,295|
|Jacksonville State University||Jacksonville||139||87||52||$6,360||6,423|
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||Birmingham||95||71||24||$6,798||11,664|
|Alabama A & M University||Normal||72||67||5||$7,182||4,235|
|Auburn University||Auburn University||65||45||20||$9,446||21,286|
|Alabama State University||Montgomery||62||50||12||$7,932||4,600|
|University of North Alabama||Florence||47||37||10||$6,528||5,313|
|University of Montevallo||Montevallo||35||24||11||$9,280||2,445|
|University of South Alabama||Mobile||35||29||6||$6,660||11,372|
|University of West Alabama||Livingston||12||9||3||$7,320||4,637|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||Huntsville||9||9||0||$8,794||4,997|
|Athens State University||Athens||8||7||1||N/A||1,518|
|University of Mobile||Mobile||7||5||2||$18,080||1,357|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||Montgomery||5||5||0||$8,150||3,264|