Kansas is working hard to allow K-12 students the opportunity for online learning, with 11 virtual schools, three virtual charter schools, two charter schools with blended programs, eight service center programs and 69 district programs. All of these programs are approved for full-time enrollment, attracting more than 10,000 students for both full-time and part-time study. Thirty-seven percent of those students were at the elementary level, another 23 percent came from middle school, and 40 percent were from high school. Any school or district is welcome to contract with an existing virtual school for supplemental courses. Excellent funding and good teacher preparation help position Kansas to increase its online opportunities at the K-12 level.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|iQ Academy Kansas||7 - 12||Manhattan||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(877) 345-4757|
|Lawrence Virtual School||K - 8||Lawrence||Live/Synchronous||Public||(785) 832-5620|
|Insight School of Kansas||9 - 12||Olathe||Live/Synchronous||Public||(866) 664-2796|
|Basehor-Linwood Virtual School||K - 12||Basehor||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Private||(913) 724-1727|
|Smoky Valley Virtual Charter School||9 - 12||Lindsborg||On-Demand/Asynchronous||Public||(785) 906-0145|
The Kansas Board of Regents accredits more than 40 online programs, including those offered through major state-funded institutions. The eduKan initiative connects students with online associate degrees from several community colleges statewide, while the University of Kansas offers online certificates and degrees. Many more state institutions, such as Kansas State University, have substantial online course catalogs. Private schools, such as Baker University and Ottawa University, offer even more online options, including several highly ranked degree programs. There are also several private for-profit online schools throughout Kansas. Despite their differences, most of these institutions offer targeted career training in areas like business, computer science, criminal justice, education and health care.
The network of community and technical colleges in Kansas serves more than 78,000 students each year across 26 distinct campuses. These schools offer career-focused certificates and academic associate degrees in several content areas. Students can carry these credentials directly into the workforce, or use them as stepping stones to advanced degrees through four-year institutions. Many community colleges also host adult education programs designed to help students learn to read, speak English or earn their GEDs.
Because Kansas community colleges often cater to working adults, there are abundant evening, weekend and online programs. An online initiative called eduKan links students with online courses and degrees from several such institutions, like Dodge City, Seward County and Colby Community Colleges.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Allen County Community College||1801 N Cottonwood||Iola||+|
|Fort Scott Community College||2108 S Horton||Fort Scott||+|
|Colby Community College||1255 S Range||Colby||+|
|Neosho County Community College||800 W 14th St||Chanute||+|
|Highland Community College||606 W Main||Highland||+|
|Butler Community College||901 S Haverhill Rd||El Dorado||+|
|Hutchinson Community College||1300 N Plum St||Hutchinson||+|
|Cowley County Community College||125 S 2nd St||Arkansas City||+|
|Johnson County Community College||12345 College Blvd||Overland Park||+|
The Kansas Board of Regents oversees six state universities and one municipal four-year institution. The University of Kansas, a research institution, is the largest publicly funded university in the state, but Kansas State University, Wichita State University and other public schools still serve thousands of students each year. Haskell Indian Nations University, a public Native American tribal institution, is also recognized as a state university. Together, these institutions offer more than 1,000 certificate and degree programs in fields like agriculture, business, computer technology, education, health care and more. Public institutions also account for many online schools in Kansas.
Private schools in Kansas do not outnumber its public institutions, but they are a popular option for students seeking certain programs or learning experiences. More than half of the state’s undergraduate students are enrolled in such programs. There are more than 20 private schools statewide, from small theological and liberal arts colleges to targeted career schools specializing in areas like business, education, engineering and medicine. Each school has its own goals and governing boards, so degrees and disciplines vary. Private institutions account for several online schools in Kansas.
The University of Kansas
The University of Kansas offers several distance learning programs. Students can earn 100 percent online bachelor’s degrees in health-related areas like nursing and respiratory care. Graduate students have a wider selection of Web-based options, including online master’s degrees in dietetics and nutrition, educational administration, occupational therapy, social work and more. KU offers two online doctoral degrees in nursing, as well as online graduate certificates in aerospace, medical, law enforcement and bioscience. Students don’t need to enroll in these programs to take advantage of online learning: the school offers hundreds of Web-based courses that apply toward traditional degrees and certificates.
KU’s online students go through the same admissions process as their campus-based peers and, once admitted, follow the traditional semester schedule.
For more information on distance learning or specific online degree programs at the University of Kansas, visit http://online.ku.edu/.
Southwestern College, a four-year private college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, offers several online certificates and degrees. These include more than 15 online bachelor’s degrees in areas like business and leadership, education, health care, social science, ministry, technology and more. Online graduate degrees are available in accounting, management, teaching, special education, theological studies and security administration. SC’s online certificates offer undergraduate- and graduate-level training in cybercrime investigation, operational leadership, executive accounting and emergency planning. All online courses last six weeks.
SC offers several support services for online students, including academic and career advising. Students can also participate in competency-based programs that convert knowledge and experience into college credit, usually via exams or military training records.
To learn more about online education options at Southwestern College, visit http://ps.sckans.edu/.
Kansas State University Global Campus
Kansas State University offers several online degree programs. Online bachelor’s degree completion programs span nine majors, including animal science, early childhood education, general business and technology management. Web-based master’s degree programs are offered in 27 subject areas, such as engineering, business, agriculture, education and arts and sciences. Undergraduate and graduate certificate programs are also available through the global campus, with most programs requiring less than 18 credits to complete.
All of K-State’s online undergraduate programs require students to have at least 30 credits of coursework from an accredited institution. Admission requirements for master’s degree programs vary by program, but most require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Online courses are delivered through K-State Online, the university’s online learning system. Students use a number of additional technologies designed to enhance the online interactive learning environment, like streaming video, Web conferencing and message boards.
For a full list of K-State’s online degrees and certificates, visit its Global Campus website at http://www.dce.k-state.edu.
Ottawa University offers 19 online bachelor’s degree programs through its schools of arts and sciences, business and education. Some online undergraduate programs feature customizable tracks targeting specific subject areas within students’ majors. Graduate students can earn online master’s degrees in business administration, counseling, human services or education. Ottawa University requires undergraduate applicants to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Online graduate students must submit a personal statement essay, resume and three letters of recommendation. GMAT and GRE scores are generally not required, but some master’s degree programs may have additional requirements.
OU’s online courses rely on the Blackboard learning platform to manage lectures, assignments, class announcements and more. Students can install the Blackboard app on their smartphones and tablets.
For a complete list of Ottawa University’s online program offerings, visit Ottawa University’s online program page at http://www.ottawa.edu/Online.
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
|1||Hutchinson Community College||97.88||17:1||90%|
Associate degree candidates will engage in a distance learning that is completely woven into the fabric of the college more than one-third of all credit hours taken at Hutchinson are taken online by distance learners. Online students receive a high degree of personal attention, with one-on-one faculty/learner interactions offered to every student. Students have wide latitude and high level of flexibility when it comes to completing assignments and attending class even when projects are assigned on deadline. Discussion boards give students a central location to check in throughout each week to see updates, view topics or engage with instructors.
|2||Colby Community College||97.55||10:1||90%|
There are two exciting associate degrees available to distance learners: Veterinary Technology and Sustainable/Renewable Energy. Students may complete exams online, at the campus or under the supervision of their own chosen proctor. Each student will participate in a 20-minute tutorial to ensure they are comfortable and familiar with the online learning delivery system. Students will have a greater level of interaction and one-on-one contact than their counterparts who take physical classes on campus. The program's support system is outstanding ? it is one of the few that offers 24/7 live human support to all online students.
|3||Allen County Community College||96.67||22:1||91%|
Students who complete an associate degree online will be able to enter the workforce immediately. If they choose to continue their education, however, they will be in an excellent position to extend their two-year degree into a full bachelor's degree at a four-year school. This is because ACCC has transfer agreements in place with several institutions, including Washburn University and all six Kansas Regent universities. The popular Blackboard system is the learning management portal that students will use to interact with their instructors, as well as with other students. They will also use Blackboard to receive and submit assignments, download lectures and stay up to date with changes and deadlines.
|4||Neosho County Community College||96.53||15:1||90%|
Students can be confident that online education is right for them before they commit to taking even a single course. Both an online readiness questionnaire and a getting started guide help students decide if they are a good fit for distance learning. Those who choose to proceed have the option of several associate degrees available totally online or in the hybrid format. Online courses are no less demanding than traditional classes. In fact, some students find them more challenging because they are required to set and manage their own schedules. InsideNC is the online learning management system.
|5||Highland Community College||96.38||18:1||92%|
All online associate degrees are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Student are encouraged to try a demonstration course before committing to any online education. This will familiarize them with the distance-learning format and the Moodle system, which students will use to manage their coursework, interact with instructors and students, submit and receive assignments, and receive instructions and notifications. Students should have a high-speed Internet connection and either a Mac with OS 9 or higher, or a PC with an operating system no older than Windows XP.
|6||Johnson County Community College||95.53||21:1||60%|
Several associate degrees can be completed with at least 50 percent of the coursework taken online. It is recommended that students complete a 15-question assessment quiz to determine whether or not online learning is right for them. Orientation sessions are also available to all distance learners to acclimate them with the online format. Students are expected to log on every single day ? or a minimum of five to six days a week ? to avoid falling behind. The flexible format requires students to manage their own time and their own coursework. Students will use the Desire2Learn platform to complete assignments and engage with instructors.
|7||Cowley County Community College||93.77||26:1||90%|
Distance learners have a choice of several associate degree programs, including AA, AS, AGS and AAS degrees. Students may pursue coursework on their own schedule and log on to class activities at any time. All degree programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and most credits are fully transferrable for students who plan to pursue a degree completion program at a four-year university. It is important for students to check the technology requirements for each individual course. In order to participate in online learning, students must first be admitted to the college.
|8||Butler Community College||91.8||19:1||86%|
The virtual campus was designed to give distance learners access the same quality education that students receive at the physical campus, but with total flexibility in scheduling and lifestyle obligations. Students will use the Canvas platform to take quizzes, participate in discussions, submit assignments, and receive notes and lectures. Online courses adhere to the same school calendar as traditional, on-campus classes. Testing format varies by instructor, with some requiring a proctored examination. Some blended courses require on-campus meetings for labs and other physical coursework. Classes are roughly the same size as they are on campus, with 18-25 students per session.
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
|1||University of Saint Mary||99.07||10:1||100%|
Online students receive the exact same degree and diploma earned by their traditional, on-campus counterparts. Students should expect to devote between 15 and 20 hours to each course every week. To ensure maximum flexibility, students may complete their coursework wherever and whenever best suits their schedule. Not only are students assigned mentors, but the Personal Support Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a student services coordinator will regularly check on every student to evaluate their progress and determine if they need extra attention. All individual courses and complete programs are fully accredited.
Students can earn a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees completely online. All coursework is submitted and completed through the Moodle platform. Classes are asynchronous, which means that students aren't bound to a rigid schedule and instead may choose when to complete assignments, interact with instructors or participate in the weekly modules. "Attendance" is measured by participation, and students should contribute to at least two different activities during every class. As long as students complete the required attendance activity minimums each week - weeks run from Sunday to Monday - they will not have to repeat a course.
Both undergraduate and graduate students can earn their choice of degrees completely online, including RN to BSN and Business Studies for undergraduate students. Both master's degrees are designed for those pursuing an advanced degree in theology. Students will receive assignments, submit completed coursework and communicate with their instructors and peers through the Blackboard system. Students aren't required to have than basic computer proficiency, up-to-date versions of basic software - such as Adobe and Microsoft Word - email and the ability to upload and download materials. The university's Catholic philosophy is woven into subject matter so graduates can transform the world they will enter after college.
|4||Emporia State University||97.95||15:1||96%|
Online students will utilize both the Buzz In and Canvas platforms. Canvas in an e-Education platform, and Buzz In is the online portal that serves as home base for each student's online learning journey. In order to be considered full-time participants, online students must enroll in 12 credits. For graduate students, the minimum is nine credits. The post-enrollment information center catalogues student responsibilities information is often updated every semester. Although students are not required to gain acceptance into the larger university in order to take online courses, some courses are only available to students who have been accepted.
Both graduate and undergraduate degrees are available to students who are seeking a Christian education to prepare them for a life of service after graduation. Students who are welcome to view a sample online course will be required to dedicate between six and 12 hours to their coursework. The online portal, called Tabor Online, is based on the Moodle learning management system. The admissions process is completely individualized, with each student receiving guidance from an advisor. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and belongs to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
|6||MidAmerica Nazarene University||97.49||5:1||99%|
MidAmerica Nazarene University offers two fully-online bachelor's degrees -- the RN to BSN and a bachelor of business administration -- in addition to their several graduate degrees, associate degrees and certificates available to distance students. Students are only required to "attend" class once a week, and the entire program can be completed in as little as a year, provided at least 30 credit hours have been completed. There is also an RN to MSN option that allows ambitious students to achieve both a BSN and an MSN together in as few as 26 months. Both programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
|7||Wright Career College||97.08||17:1||95%|
Online students can choose from a wide range of undergraduate programs, including associate and bachelor's. All four bachelor's programs result in bachelor of science degrees, and require a high school diploma or GED. All bachelor's degree programs are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, which is recognized by both the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Students are not required to come from a background relevant to their chosen area of concentration, but applicants to every program would benefit from experience in the industry or field.
|8||Central Christian College of Kansas||96.43||14:1||93%|
Students can pursue undergraduate degrees online in either the traditional format or as degree completion programs. Students may transfer credits from prior learning, as long as the institution is regionally accredited or otherwise recognized. Students must have maintained at least a C in the courses associated with the transferred credits. If students are transferring from a two-year school, they may transfer as many as 64 credits. Students will receive an education centered in the Christian philosophy. Applicants should include a recommendation from a pastor, employer, teacher, or some other character witness, as well as a statement of faith.
|9||Pittsburg State University||96.35||19:1||91%|
Online students will use the Canvas platform - the university's learning management system - to manage their work, receive and submit assignments, communicate with instructors and peers, receive grades and more. There are a wide range of master's degrees available, as well as two bachelor's degrees, including a BSN in nursing and a BS in workforce development with two options of concentrations. Students will be required to self motivate, as the online format gives them incredible flexibility to work on their own schedule and pace their own coursework. Students in most states can participate in online learning, but some states are restricted or omitted by law.
The School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business and the School of Education all offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees completely online. The university prides itself on the individual attention each student receives. Not only is each student paired with an academic advisor, but there are just four students for every one faculty member. All courses were crafted specifically for learning in the online environment. Students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in a sample online course, which uses the Blackboard platform. Blackboard is the online portal students will use to communicate with professors, submit finished work and receive assignments.
The university offers several degree-completion programs, which follow the 2+2 format, aimed at students who have already earned an associate degree from a two-year institution. The undergraduate program can result in five different bachelor's degrees. The PLAN (Partnership for Learning and Networking) program, designed to expand educational opportunities to Kansas residents, opens degree-completion programs to anyone who achieved an associate degree from a partnering community or technical college. Desire2Learn (D2L) is the online portal students will use to complete their coursework. Once they receive logon information, students can access to D2L for online learning resources and information.
4 Year Online Colleges in Kansas
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||Private not-for-profit||2030 E College Way||Olathe||+|
|Central Christian College of Kansas||Private not-for-profit||1200 S Main||McPherson||+|
|Ottawa University-Ottawa||Private not-for-profit||1001 South Cedar||Ottawa||+|
|Bethany College||Private not-for-profit||335 E Swensson St||Lindsborg||+|
|Emporia State University||Public||1200 Commercial||Emporia||+|
|Baker University||Private not-for-profit||618 Eighth Street||Baldwin City||+|
|Pittsburg State University||Public||1701 S Broadway||Pittsburg||+|
|Fort Hays State University||Public||600 Park St||Hays||+|
|Tabor College||Private not-for-profit||400 S Jefferson||Hillsboro||+|
Best for Future Service Members
Online schools in Kansas are known for providing strong educational programs to military service members, veterans and their families. Distance education is a natural fit for students who want to advance their educations without worrying about disruptions from deployments and relocations. Many online schools offer tuition discounts or special grant and scholarship programs to military personnel. Some, like Southwest College, allow students to convert military training into college credits via exams or military records. Online students attending schools with nearby campuses may also have access to on-site military resources, like academic tutoring, education benefit advising and transition support.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|Haskell Indian Nations University||N/A||Lawrence||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|University of Kansas||$8,000||Lawrence||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Kansas State University||$7,317||Manhattan||Yes||No||Yes|
|Manhattan Christian College||$12,768||Manhattan||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Online schools in Kansas are known for their flexibility, but some students wonder if they will have to sacrifice personalized learning for the sake of convenience. With today’s innovative technologies and policies, distance learning programs enable online students to stay connected with peers and instructors from anywhere. Collaborative technologies include Skype, cloud-based project management tools, scheduled chats and interactive, live-streamed lectures. Virtual office hours make it easier for instructors to answer questions and provide individualized support. Some schools significantly limit online course enrollment to preserve personalized learning opportunities. For example, Ottawa University boasts a 4:1 student-instructor ratio. The following online schools in Kansas rank among the best in the state for personal attention.
|Wichita State University||20 to 1||15,517||$5,205||Public||Wichita|
|Kansas State University||20 to 1||21,513||$7,317||Public||Manhattan|
|Haskell Indian Nations University||19 to 1||991||N/A||Public||Lawrence|
|Pittsburg State University||19 to 1||7,007||$4,386||Public||Pittsburg|
|University of Kansas||19 to 1||21,710||$8,000||Public||Lawrence|
|Fort Hays State University||18 to 1||12,980||$3,249||Public||Hays|
|Emporia State University||17 to 1||4,309||$4,102||Public||Emporia|
|Ottawa University-Kansas City||16 to 1||406||$10,740||Private not-for-profit||Overland Park|
|Manhattan Christian College||16 to 1||461||$12,768||Private not-for-profit||Manhattan|
|Washburn University||16 to 1||7,632||$5,400||Public||Topeka|
|Kansas Wesleyan University||15 to 1||928||$22,600||Private not-for-profit||Salina|
|Benedictine College||15 to 1||2,329||$22,550||Private not-for-profit||Atchison|
|Cleveland Chiropractic College||14 to 1||172||$7,920||Private not-for-profit||Overland Park|
|Sterling College||14 to 1||721||$20,950||Private not-for-profit||Sterling|
|Tabor College||14 to 1||829||$21,160||Private not-for-profit||Hillsboro|
|Newman University||14 to 1||3,013||$21,388||Private not-for-profit||Wichita|
|Bethany College||13 to 1||656||$22,024||Private not-for-profit||Lindsborg|
|McPherson College||13 to 1||677||$21,216||Private not-for-profit||McPherson|
|Central Baptist Theological Seminary||12 to 1||27||$6,480||Private not-for-profit||Shawnee|
|Bethel College-North Newton||12 to 1||580||$22,600||Private not-for-profit||North Newton|
|Ottawa University-Ottawa||12 to 1||610||$22,400||Private not-for-profit||Ottawa|
|Central Christian College of Kansas||12 to 1||766||$18,750||Private not-for-profit||McPherson|
|Donnelly College||12 to 1||841||$6,552||Private not-for-profit||Kansas City|
|Barclay College||11 to 1||251||$11,000||Private not-for-profit||Haviland|
|University of Saint Mary||11 to 1||969||$21,500||Private not-for-profit||Leavenworth|
|Baker University||11 to 1||2,652||$24,470||Private not-for-profit||Baldwin City|
|Friends University||10 to 1||2,725||$22,320||Private not-for-profit||Wichita|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||9 to 1||1,710||$20,500||Private not-for-profit||Olathe|
|Southwestern College||9 to 1||2,645||$22,606||Private not-for-profit||Winfield|
|Ottawa University-Online||5 to 1||719||$10,920||Private not-for-profit||Ottawa|
Best for Women in Technology
The technology industry is growing quickly, but studies show that women remain underrepresented in the field. This disparity often begins in college, where male students outnumber female students by wide margins. Some online schools in Kansas offer programs and features that support young women aspiring to tech careers. They might offer a higher-than-average ratio of female instructors to serve as role models, or offer mentorship programs that pair young women with seasoned students. Access to special conferences for women, including professional and networking events, can also help. But perhaps the best way schools can support these young women is by providing high-quality online degree programs. Below, we’ve ranked the top online schools in Kansas for women in tech.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Kansas State University||$8,047||Manhattan||107||19,605||Public|
|University of Kansas||$9,678||Lawrence||102||23,737||Public|
|Wichita State University||$6,442||Wichita||86||9,800||Public|
|Pittsburg State University||$5,494||Pittsburg||60||6,254||Public|
|Emporia State University||$5,272||Emporia||22||3,772||Public|
|Fort Hays State University||$4,320||Hays||15||5,694||Public|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
Social science degrees are a magnet for students who want to help families and children in their communities, but not all programs are created equal. This is just as true for online programs as traditional programs. Several online schools in Kansas offer highly regarded social services programs. They may start by crafting quality curricula that draws national rankings, but for many, this is only the beginning. For example, some online social science programs offer students a chance to complete supervised, hands-on internships within their local communities to build practical skills and knowledge. Scholarships and fellowships can make these academic programs even more valuable (and affordable). Which programs are the best? We’ve listed the top online schools in Kansas for social work degrees here.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence||309||259||50||$9,678||23,737|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||156||87||69||$8,047||19,605|
|Wichita State University||Wichita||152||130||22||$6,442||9,800|
|Fort Hays State University||Hays||59||53||6||$4,320||5,694|
|Pittsburg State University||Pittsburg||40||34||6||$5,494||6,254|
|Emporia State University||Emporia||23||17||6||$5,272||3,772|
|Bethel College-North Newton||North Newton||12||8||4||$22,600||497|
|Baker University||Baldwin City||10||7||3||$24,550||1,463|
|Kansas Wesleyan University||Salina||7||1||6||$22,600||733|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||Olathe||5||4||1||$21,500||1,432|