Louisiana has embraced online learning at the K-12 level. Each year, thousands of students take advantage of its two virtual charter schools, as well as the state’s Supplemental Course Academy (SCA). The SCA, formerly known as the Course Choice Program, allows students from grades 7-12 to take high school courses from 44 different providers. Though enrollment dropped amid questions of funding and the subsequent transition to the new program, the SCA has shown promise during the pilot period. A number of blended programs round out the state’s online options.
|SCHOOL NAME||GRADE LEVELS||CITY||SCHEDULE||TYPE||PHONE NUMBER|
|Louisiana Connections Academy||K - 12||N/A||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(800) 382-6010|
|Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy||K - 12||N/A||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(877) 490-3596|
|Louisiana Virtual School||9 - 12||N/A||Both Live/On-Demand||Public||(225) 219-0436|
From major public universities to smaller private schools and community colleges, Louisiana schools offer a robust slate of online education programs at the post-secondary level. Hundreds of online programs provide the same high-quality education offered in the classroom, but in a much more flexible format. Online options are outlined by the Louisiana Electronic Campus (LEC), a virtual campus that connects students with online courses and degree programs from a number of participating institutions. While the LEC is an excellent resource, not all online schools in Louisiana participate in the initiative.
Louisiana is home to one of the world’s fastest-growing two-year college systems. These schools serve more than 100,000 students each year across 13 campuses, and frequently rank among the highest certificate and associate degree producers in the United States. Most offer a balance of career-focused programs designed for quick entry into the workforce, and academic programs for students who intend to transfer to four-year institutions. Community colleges may also offer programs that serve their communities in different ways, like literacy and English as a Second Language support for adult learners, high school dual-enrollment and GED completion programs, and enrichment programs for senior citizens. Professional and corporate development programs are also common. Because these schools often cater to working professionals, they usually offer evening, weekend and online course options.
|SCHOOL NAME||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Bossier Parish Community College||6220 East Texas||Bossier City||+|
|Louisiana State University Eunice||2048 Johnson Hwy||Eunice||+|
Louisiana’s public four-year institutions are managed by three distinct systems. The Louisiana University System is comprised of nine geographically diverse universities offering more than 750 academic programs. Within the system, 10 separate institutions offer a multitude of undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees in areas like criminal justice, technology, mass communication and more. The final system is the Southern University System, which serves 13,000 students across five campuses. Southern University is part of the only historically black Land Grant university system in the nation.
Each of Louisiana’s public institutions offers its own unique courses, certificates and degrees, so prospective students will need to research which schools offer programs suited to their goals. Although all public four-year schools in Louisiana offer some type of online learning, the classes, degrees and even technologies will vary. Students can visit the Louisiana Electronic Campus online to get a better sense of the options.
Louisiana’s 10 private and independent institutions serve at least 31,000 students each year, or about 15 percent of the state’s undergraduate student population. They also produce about one-fifth of the state’s degrees. No two programs offer the same credentials and disciplines: small liberal arts universities serve a much different student base than targeted career colleges.
Private colleges and universities tend to be more expensive than public institutions, but are self-governed and therefore have a lot more leeway when designing programs and curricula. This can make them an attractive option for students who prefer small class sizes, specialized degrees or programs with religious affiliations. Many private schools in Louisiana also offer flexible online programs, making it easier for students to work while studying and offset some of their costs.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of nursing, health, education and systems technology. Examples of specific degrees include a Master of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration and a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction. Students interested in teaching and student development can also earn an online graduate certificate in Instructional Coaching.
UL Lafayette offers a myriad of standalone hybrid and fully online courses, or “eCourses,” most of which are peer-reviewed for quality and design. These certified courses must meet 21 essential standards. Online students have access to many of the same support services they would expect to find on campus, including technology assistance, online orientation, tutoring and career counseling.
Learn more about support services, classes and degrees at http://online.louisiana.edu/.
Louisiana State University
LSU offers five online master’s degrees and an online post-baccalaureate certificate in construction management. Degree programs typically require about 36 to 42 credit hours and can be completed in 15 to 24 months. The certificate in construction management is 18 credit hours and takes students six to 12 months to complete. LSU’s online master’s degrees include business administration, educational leadership, human resource education, construction management and education, with a specialization in higher education administration.
Students interested in pursuing an online degree at LSU must go through the same application process as traditional campus-based students. Requirements vary by program. Online students can enroll on a full-time or half-time basis. Those taking six hours of courses are considered full-time students, while three credit hours constitutes half-time.
To get more details or to read about a specific online degree program at LSU, visit LSU Online.
Bossier Parish Community College
Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), a member of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, offers online certificate and associate degree programs in subjects such as business administration, health care management, criminal justice and computer information systems. BPCC also offers several accelerated online programs with four- and eight-week course formats. Courses are administered through the Blackboard learning management system and may include discussion boards, PowerPoint presentations and audio/video tutorials. Online students have the same access to BPCC resources as traditional campus-based students, including tutoring, counseling, job placement services and library resources.
To learn more, visit Bossier Parish Community College’s Division of Educational Technology at http://www.bpcc.edu/educationaltechnology/index.html.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) offers 33 online degree programs. Distance learning associate options are restricted to just one general studies program, but students can earn online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than a dozen subject areas, like education, health sciences, business administration and teaching. ULM offers two doctoral degree programs online, one in education (EdD) and the other in marriage and family therapy (PhD).
Online courses at ULM are offered in both accelerated and traditional formats. Admission into their online undergraduate programs requires at least a high school diploma or GED. Graduate program admissions vary by program, but generally include a bachelor’s degree as well as a 3.0 GPA.
ULM provides online students with a variety of resources to help them succeed in the virtual classroom, including a homework app to organize and keep track of assignments. ULM recommends that students possess a personal computer, a high-speed Internet connection, and word processing software, such as Microsoft Office.
For more information about ULM’s online programs and specific requirements, visit the eULM website at http://onlinedegrees.kent.edu/.
Northwestern State University
Northwestern State University offers 34 online degree programs through its eNSU program, including a number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Although graduate degree programs are more prevalent than undergraduate programs, both span a wide breadth of fields, such as education, security, health and human performance, and art. eNSU is managed by the Office of Electronic and Continuing Education, which models its programs on standards set by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).
All NSUe courses are delivered through Moodle, an online learning system similar to Blackboard. Students can access Moodle courses on a MAC or PC, but additional technical requirements may vary by course or major.
To learn more about the online programs offered through eNSU, visit http://ensu.nsula.edu.
Best Online Schools in Louisiana for 2015-2016
|Score||Student/teacher ratio||Financial aid||Cost||more|
|1||Our Lady of Holy Cross College||99.73||11:1||81%|
With just 30 credit hours, students who hold a registered nurse's license can earn a bachelor of science in nursing from Our Lady of Holy Cross College. Small class sizes allow faculty and staff members to get to know students, providing mentorship and support throughout the program and into graduates' professional careers. Students take classes like health assessment, contemporary issues in nursing, human anatomy, psychology and special topics. The program is designed to foster an environment where students research and collaborate and become lifelong learners.
|2||Southeastern Louisiana University||97.98||23:1||93%|
Students at Southeastern Louisiana University can earn a number of degrees either fully or partially online-from bachelor's degrees through doctorates and post-baccalaureate certificates. Courses are taught in a variety of formats, including web enhanced, compressed video, blended, hybrid, telecourses and fully online. Online courses use instructional strategies that are specifically designed for online learning, including a variety of media and collaboration tools. Fully online degrees are available in nursing and fully online certificates can be earned in nursing and education. Online students have access to tutoring services and the on-campus computer lab.
|3||University of New Orleans||97.82||21:1||90%|
The mission of the University of New Orleans's distance education program is to provide learning opportunities for nontraditional students in and around the greater New Orleans area. It utilizes 21st century technology to teach adult learners who want to fulfill personal goals and further their careers. There are two online bachelor's degrees, two online master's degrees and one hybrid master's degree available. Classes are asynchronous, so students can complete their coursework when it's convenient for them-rather than having to log in to their classes at a specific time. Assessments are proctored online, allowing students to take tests from their home using a computer and webcam.
|4||Louisiana Tech University||97.67||23:1||94%|
The Global Campus at Louisiana Tech University is the school's "portal to online learning." It offers both degrees and professional development opportunities for individuals and businesses in a format that's convenient for the working professional. Two bachelor's degrees, in general studies and health informatics and information management, and five master's degrees are available completely online. In addition, a handful of associate degrees and industry certifications are also available. Courses are delivered through Moodle, where students can access the course syllabi, lectures, notes and other resources. Louisiana Tech works with members of the military as they complete their degrees-even while on deployment.
|5||University of Louisiana at Lafayette||97.07||22:1||94%|
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers online programs to students who want to earn a bachelor's, master's, doctorate or a graduate certificate on a convenient and flexible schedule. The online learning environment was designed to provide meaningful instruction that encourages engagement from students and is delivered by highly trained faculty members. Courses and instructors take into account that each student is unique and has his or her own learning style and needs. Programs include degrees in health care, business, education, nursing, technology and professional writing.
|6||University of Louisiana at Monroe||96.83||23:1||96%|
Countless online degree programs are available at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, taught in 4-, 8- and 16-week formats depending on the program and semester. New students may take advantage of ULM's Prior Learning Assessment, which allows them to test out of courses through a standardized exam or taking a portfolio assessment. Students should have access to word processing software as well as a webcam and headset for some courses. Psychology, business administration, dental hygiene, risk management and insurance, history and modern languages are just a few of the online offerings.
|7||Remington College-Shreveport Campus||90.67||15:1||100%|
Louisiana students can take advantage of Remington College's online learning programs. While it has 16 traditional campuses across the South and Hawaii, RC's online campus offers three associate degrees and seven bachelor's degrees. Students have the flexibility to "attend" classes when it's convenient for them and earn a degree in paralegal, criminal justice, occupational therapy assistant, health information management, business management and more. Students can graduate in as little as 18 months, depending on the degree and the number of transfer credits the student has.
|8||Northwestern State University of Louisiana||87.59||20:1||95%|
As part of the Louisiana Transfer Degree Program, students with an associate degree can transfer into one of Northwestern State University of Louisiana's online bachelor's degrees. The university has 37 online degree programs at all levels that accommodate students' busy schedules and offer individualized instruction. High school students can participate in dual enrollment, working toward their four-year degree before they even graduate from high school. While most classes are completely online, some do have an on-campus component for midterms and final exams. An online self-assessment is available for students who aren't sure if distance learning is right for them.
|9||New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary||86.84||13:1||73%|
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary offers completely online associate and bachelor's degrees in Christian ministry. The degrees prepares graduates for a career in ministry either in the church or in a missionary role. They learn how to interpret the Bible and communicate its contents accurately so they can lead congregations in education. These online programs help to make Seminary training more accessible to Christian leaders, no matter where they reside and the online degrees are of similar quality as the traditional on-campus programs. Students use Blackboard to communicate with instructors and submit assignments. A number of individual graduate and undergraduate classes and graduate degrees and certificates is also available online.
4 Year Online Colleges in Louisiana
|SCHOOL NAME||TYPE||ADDRESS||CITY||SEE PROGRAMS|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||Private not-for-profit||6823 Saint Charles Ave||New Orleans||+|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Public||548 Ned McGehee Ave.||Hammond||+|
|University of New Orleans||Public||2000 Lakeshore Drive||New Orleans||+|
|University of Louisiana-Monroe||Public||700 University Avenue||Monroe||+|
|Louisiana Tech University||Public||305 Wisteria||Ruston||+|
|Grambling State University||Public||403 Main Street||Grambling||+|
|Loyola University-New Orleans||Private not-for-profit||6363 Saint Charles Ave||New Orleans||+|
|Southern University and A & M College||Public||Southern Branch Post Office||Baton Rouge||+|
|New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary||Private not-for-profit||3939 Gentilly Blvd||New Orleans||+|
Best for Future Service Members
Some students attending online schools in Louisiana have specific needs and goals, such as military service members, veterans and their families. The flexibility of distance degrees makes them a solid fit for students who might be deployed or relocated in the course of their studies. Some of these schools offer tuition discounts and other aid specifically for active and veteran members of the Armed Forces, or programs that help these students better understand and maximize their civilian education benefits. Academic and transition support services can also be helpful. Schools with campus locations near military bases often welcome online students to on-site military and veteran’s centers that provide even more support. The following online schools in Louisiana go above and beyond to support men and women in uniform.
|Tuition||City||ROTC - Army||ROTC - Navy||ROTC - Air Force|
|University of New Orleans||$5,164||New Orleans||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Southern University and A & M College||$5,812||Baton Rouge||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dillard University||$13,650||New Orleans||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Xavier University of Louisiana||$17,700||New Orleans||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Southern University at New Orleans||$3,073||New Orleans||Yes||No||Yes|
|Grambling State University||$3,932||Grambling||Yes||No||Yes|
|Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||$5,193||Baton Rouge||Yes||No||Yes|
Best for Personal Attention
Many online schools in Louisiana offer flexible degree programs through the Web, with no classroom visits required. However, some prospective students may be concerned about missing out on the spontaneity of classroom lectures and benefits of collaborative work. While it’s true that online students must be a little more disciplined and self-motivated than their campus-based counterparts, they need not feel isolated.
Many programs offer interactive, live-streaming lectures that connect students with instructors and peers in real-time. Online message boards, chat rooms and videoconferencing programs, such as Skype, boost collaboration. Virtual office hours and enrollment limits enable instructors to provide more one-on-one support. Optional campus-based seminars, intensives and student networking events are additional perks. Here are the top online schools in Louisiana for students seeking this type of personalized learning experience.
|Grambling State University||20 to 1||5,018||$3,932||Public||Grambling|
|University of New Orleans||20 to 1||10,144||$5,164||Public||New Orleans|
|Our Lady of the Lake College||19 to 1||2,122||$9,013||Private not-for-profit||Baton Rouge|
|Southern University at New Orleans||19 to 1||3,375||$3,073||Public||New Orleans|
|Louisiana College||16 to 1||1,282||$12,150||Private not-for-profit||Pineville|
|Louisiana State University-Alexandria||15 to 1||3,282||$3,739||Public||Alexandria|
|Southern University and A & M College||15 to 1||6,635||$5,812||Public||Baton Rouge|
|Our Lady of Holy Cross College||13 to 1||1,065||$8,520||Private not-for-profit||New Orleans|
|Xavier University of Louisiana||13 to 1||2,883||$17,700||Private not-for-profit||New Orleans|
|Dillard University||12 to 1||1,447||$13,650||Private not-for-profit||New Orleans|
|Centenary College of Louisiana||11 to 1||818||$29,500||Private not-for-profit||Shreveport|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||11 to 1||9,270||$41,500||Private not-for-profit||New Orleans|
|Loyola University-New Orleans||10 to 1||3,540||$33,846||Private not-for-profit||New Orleans|
|Saint Joseph Seminary College||6 to 1||91||$13,500||Private not-for-profit||St. Benedict|
|Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport||5 to 1||78||$6,670||Public||Shreveport|
|Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans||5 to 1||1,073||$3,767||Public||New Orleans|
Best for Women in Technology
Technology and engineering are some of the fast-growing and high-paying fields in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but gender barriers make it difficult for some women to take advantage of these benefits. Studies suggest that this disparity often begins in college, if not earlier. Some online schools in Louisiana are changing that trend.
These programs may offer a higher-than-average share of experienced female professors who can serve as mentors and role models for young women, or tech-specific professional and student organizations with a robust virtual presence. Optional campus- and Web-based seminars, internship and fellowship opportunities, and career support programs can help, too. Perhaps one of the best way schools can support these students, however, is by making high-quality degrees more accessible to mothers, working professionals and female students with limited local options. Here are the top online schools in Louisiana for tech-aspiring women.
|TUITION + FEES||CITY||WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED||TOTAL ENROLLMENT||TYPE|
|Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||$6,989||Baton Rouge||127||26,836||Public|
|Louisiana Tech University||$6,574||Ruston||69||7,799||Public|
|McNeese State University||$5,088||Lake Charles||44||6,529||Public|
|University of Louisiana-Monroe||$5,443||Monroe||42||5,724||Public|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||$5,557||Natchitoches||37||5,544||Public|
|Southern University and A & M College||$5,810||Baton Rouge||33||5,673||Public|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||$5,374||Lafayette||32||13,858||Public|
|Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans||N/A||New Orleans||31||2,262||Public|
|University of New Orleans||$5,850||New Orleans||27||7,487||Public|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||$45,240||New Orleans||20||10,261||Private Not for Profit|
|Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport||N/A||Shreveport||15||814||Public|
|Our Lady of the Lake College||$9,757||Baton Rouge||15||756||Private Not for Profit|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||$5,242||Hammond||8||11,138||Public|
|Our Lady of Holy Cross College||$9,710||New Orleans||6||597||Private Not for Profit|
Best Schools Fighting for Families
Helping families, children and others in need is a noble career goal, and the journey starts with the right degree. Several online schools in Louisiana offer degrees in social work, counseling and similar fields, but they are not all equivalent. Some of the best programs offer online students the chance to complete supervised internships within their local communities, helping them build practical knowledge and experience that could never be conveyed through courses alone.
Access to targeted student and professional organizations and events are just as invaluable for these future social services professionals, as are special scholarships, networking opportunities and career support. When one considers these perks alongside rankings, reputation and other academic opportunities, some online schools in Louisiana are front-runners. Let’s take a look at some of them.
|CITY||SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED||WOMEN||MEN||TUITION & FEES||TOTAL ENROLLMENT|
|Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||Baton Rouge||249||192||57||$6,989||26,836|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||New Orleans||155||133||22||$45,240||10,261|
|Southern University at New Orleans||New Orleans||147||132||15||$4,372||1,883|
|Grambling State University||Grambling||98||81||17||$5,273||4,572|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Hammond||73||64||9||$5,242||11,138|
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston||62||27||35||$6,574||7,799|
|University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Lafayette||44||37||7||$5,374||13,858|
|Southern University and A & M College||Baton Rouge||40||35||5||$5,810||5,673|
|Northwestern State University of Louisiana||Natchitoches||37||33||4||$5,557||5,544|
|University of Louisiana-Monroe||Monroe||36||30||6||$5,443||5,724|
|University of New Orleans||New Orleans||26||20||6||$5,850||7,487|
|McNeese State University||Lake Charles||23||20||3||$5,088||6,529|
|Loyola University-New Orleans||New Orleans||17||16||1||$35,182||3,877|
|Louisiana State University-Shreveport||Shreveport||16||16||0||$4,943||2,482|
|Nicholls State University||Thibodaux||8||5||3||$5,679||5,056|
|Xavier University of Louisiana||New Orleans||7||7||0||$18,700||3,184|