Texas Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2016

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Best Online Colleges in Texas for 2015-2016

Texas is second in the nation in the number of institutions offering online degree programs. In Texas, online degree programs are designed to provide the same academic quality and rigor as their campus-based equivalents, but with the flexibility and convenience of 24/7 remote access. There are notable schools in the Lone Star State that merit recognition. The colleges that made the list of the Best Online Colleges in Texas for 2015-2016 have a demonstrated record of excellence in delivering online programs and support to students at the post-secondary level.

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RANK COLLEGE Score Student-Teacher Ratio Financial Aid Cost MORE INFO
1 Midland College 99.6219:177%

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, this independent, comprehensive community college offers certificates, associate and baccalaureate degrees to students interested in gaining specialty skills in the professional field of their choice. Undergraduates looking to earn their bachelor's degree can earn one in organizational management, or choose from a wide range of other study areas, which make up their offering of over 100 degree and certificate programs. The distance learning program offers non-traditional learning environments through Canvas Learning Management System and Smarthinking, an online tutoring service. Continuing education programs, as well as opportunities for cultural and educational enrichment, are also available.

2 Dallas Baptist University 99.3014:195%

Dallas Baptist University has been offering online degree programs to students since 1998. It boasts a 92 percent completion rate in its 59 fully online degree programs and focuses on a Christ-centered learning environment with modern technology and a flexible, asynchronous schedule. Students interact with one another throughout the program in weekly discussion requirements and collaborative projects. Bachelor's degree programs include Christian ministries, biblical studies, finance and management. Students can earn an online master's in Christian scriptures, higher education, leadership studies and student ministries. Online associate degrees are also available.

3 Southwestern Adventist University 99.1512:1100%

This university is one of only 13 colleges in the country affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the only one of its kind to offer a fire science degree. Students can earn their certificate, associate, bachelor, or master degree with online degree programs available through the Desire2Learn Course Management System. Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in business, elementary education, general studies, psychology and social science, and Bachelor of Art degrees are offered in history, religion and theology, all of which can be completed entirely online. Master degree programs are also offered in management, finance and psychology.

4 University of the Incarnate Word 98.5414:1100%

The online programs at the University of the Incarnate Word are designed to prepare graduates with professional and critical thinking skills they can take with them to the workforce. Accelerated and flexible programs include bachelor's degrees in business administration, administration, human resources, organizational development, criminal justice, health sciences and psychology. Many programs offer specific concentrations so students can develop the skills that meet their personal interests. Online students benefit from Brainpower Online, an innovative program that provides free electronic textbooks to students. This provides portable learning resources at no additional cost to the student.

5 Angelo State University 98.2218:193%

Most online programs at Angelo State University are asynchronous, designed to allow students to earn their degree conveniently - on their own time. Students access course resources through Blackboard, the school's course management system. They work together using online tools to participate in discussions and complete assignments. Students can earn a number of degrees online at ASU, including a bachelor of science in nursing, an RN to BSN and several graduate degrees and certificates. Non-degree classes are also available online. While most classes don't require any on-campus visits, students must participate in practicums and clinicals as part of some programs.

6 Midwestern State University 98.2017:190%

MSU has 11 distance education programs available: four bachelor's degrees and seven master's degrees. Options include applied arts and sciences, nursing, respiratory care, radiologic services, health administration, criminal justice and more. Hands-on practicum experience is required for some programs, which students can typically complete at an approved facility. Online programs follow the same schedule as the traditional on-campus programs with 15-week semesters and a 10-week summer session. Please note that not all degrees are available in all states; prospective students must check with the university's website for out-of-state instructions.

7 Dallas Christian College 98.1712:1100%

Dallas Christian College's unique FLEXCampus allows students to choose how they will attend class each week. Classes meet on campus one evening each week for six weeks and students can attend class in-person, online synchronously or on demand by watching a recording of the class. Students who choose the online or on demand options can submit assignments and participate in class discussions on Moodle, DCC's course management system. Students can complete their online degree in as little as two years. Degree programs include bachelor's degrees in business, practical ministries, psychology or interdisciplinary studies. All programs have a bible component.

8 Lamar University 98.0821:181%

Designed for adult learners, Lamar University's online programs include 12 bachelor's degrees and 21 master's degrees. Programs have mixed class lengths of eight or 15 weeks, depending on the course and program. High school students also have the opportunity to earn high school credits and begin their college career through Lamar's online offerings. Degrees include criminal justice, entrepreneurship, communication, industrial technology, computer science, business administration, education and enterprise resource planning. Online students have access to a number of resources including the library and bookstore as well as Smarthinking, which includes research-based online tutoring through Pearson.

9 Lubbock Christian University 98.0612:199%

Lubbock Christian University has two online bachelor's degrees, seven online master's degrees and four hybrid options, for students who want both on-campus and online coursework. Undergraduate degrees available are organizational leadership and organizational management, while graduate degrees include counseling, human services, educational leadership and principal certification. Most online programs are available completely online, however some may require on-campus meetings or practicum or internship hours.

10 Our Lady of the Lake University 98.0414:197%

This independent, Catholic university offers 33 undergraduate majors, four master degrees and two doctoral level degrees. Online programs are also offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level, with students able to earn a Bachelor of Arts in criminology and criminal justice, a Master of Business Administration or a Master of Education. Students will have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, including accounting, business, political science, sociology, education, finance and healthcare administration. The curriculum offers an innovative learning experience with a foundation based on arming students with the necessary skills and tools needed for spiritual, personal and professional growth.

11 Schreiner University 97.7114:1100%

Schreiner University is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church that educates students holistically. It is committed to helping students meet their education and career goals through learning that prepares graduates for meaningful work in a global society. Students can choose from online programs such as an RN to BSN, master of business administration and master of education. While the business degree is fully online, the nursing and education degrees require some on-campus meetings or practicum experience. All programs follow a cohort structure, allowing them to get to know their instructors and peers for more developed professional connections.

12 College of Biblical Studies-Houston 97.7112:175%

This private, nondenominational, Evangelic college located in Houston teaches Christian leadership skills to undergraduate students. Their online offerings include an Associate of Arts degree and Bachelor of Science degree in organizational leadership, as well as in biblical counseling. Students can also earn full credit or finish their degree in as little as two years through the accelerated degree program. Programs are offered in five-week sessions through a cohort model, with no set class times. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and Schools and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

13 Texas Tech University 97.6020:175%

Texas Tech's dedicated Worldwide eLearning Instructional Design Team works with online learning programs to develop quality educational curriculum for the university's online programs, which include seven bachelor's degrees, 15 master's degrees, four doctoral degrees as well as numerous minors and certificate programs. The eLearning program at Texas Tech began in 1966 when five professors became “flying professors” as part of a master of engineering program. Today, the eLearning program is run by a council of representatives from each scholastic department, students and other university faculty members.

14 Sam Houston State University 97.5424:187%

At Sam Houston State University, students can choose from among 25 fully online degree programs and several professional and graduate certificates. Additional degrees are available mostly online, with a few face-to-face classroom or lab requirements. The online programs are ideal for students who work full time but want to earn a degree to meet their personal or professional goals. Technical assistance is available Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight and students have access to remote test proctoring and library resources through the Newton Gresham Library. Program options include criminal justice, general studies, business administration, history and more.

15 University of Houston 97.2522:187%

Four online degree completion programs help those with some college credit or an associate degree finish their bachelor's degree in a flexible environment. Students can earn degrees in organizational leadership and supervision, psychology (a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science) and retailing and consumer science. UH also has eight online master's program, including subsea engineering, foresight and several in the education field. Students who wish to enroll in distance education courses must be accepted to the university through the traditional application process. Most courses have no required on-campus visits, however students should consult with their academic advisor or instructor to confirm this.

16 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 97.2119:192%

Both traditional-calendar and accelerated programs are available through University of Texas of the Permian Basin's online bachelor degree offerings. From child and family studies to sociology to criminal justice, there are a wide range of options available. Master's degree programs are also available, including a master's in kinesiology and a fast track to teaching post-baccalaureate teacher certification program for those who already hold a bachelor's degree. Additional non-degree classes are available and high school students can take general education courses that include dual credit.

17 University of North Texas 96.7023:189%

The online bachelor's degree completion programs at UNT allow students a more direct path to finishing their degree. In addition to bachelor's degrees in applied arts and sciences or applied technology and performance improvement, students can also earn one of two accelerated or a host of traditional master's degrees. Students use Blackboard Learn to access course syllabi, learning materials, assignments and more. Some courses require face-to-face or synchronous meeting times; that information is communicated to students at the start of each course.

18 West Texas A & M University 96.4819:190%

Online degree completion programs in nursing, emergency management administration and applied arts and sciences allow students who hold an associate degree to finish their bachelor's degree from the comfort of their own homes. West Texas A&M also has three traditional bachelor's programs, five master's programs and seven hybrid programs - all available online. Online students have the option to opt-in to campus-based courses from time to time if they would like. The Education on Demand program is a resource for a wide range of students, providing self-paced courses online or paper-based courses. An online learning assessment can help prospective students determine if online learning is right for them.

19 Arlington Baptist College 96.4215:174%

This private, Christian university offers degrees for undergraduates and graduates in Biblical counseling, business studies, education and interdisciplinary studies. Both the Biblical counseling and interdisciplinary studies degrees can be earned online, with the latter focused on providing students with a liberal arts education. The online programs are not tied to a traditional semester structure, allowing students to benefit from a convenient and flexible format to work on their own schedule, while still earning full credit towards their degree. The curriculum is based on a theological education of Biblical truth and is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

20 Concordia University-Texas 95.7211:197%

With round-the-clock support, an online degree from Concordia University Texas is a flexible option for working professionals. Instructors are professionals with years of experience in their field and provide real-world experiences for students. There are five online bachelor's degrees available, including business, criminal justice, healthcare administration, human resources and technical management. Those who want to earn an advanced degree can choose from six master's degrees and three education certifications. Most programs can be completed entirely online with a few practicum requirements. Concordia University Texas has been providing higher education opportunities to students since 1926.

21 The University of Texas at Tyler 95.4217:183%

Two bachelor's degrees and a host of graduate-level degrees are available online at the University of Texas at Tyler. The bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program is designed for those who already have some college credits under their belt, in the form of an associate degree or general requirements transferred from another university. The unique RN to BSN MINE program requires no campus time and, through enrollment, the student helps his or her employer earn “magnet” status. Students access course materials through a course management system and communicate with instructors and peers on discussion boards, emails, video chat and more.

22 The University of Texas at Arlington 95.3923:179%

Online nursing and education programs are the cornerstones of the University of Texas at Arlington's distance education offerings. Students in both fields benefit from accredited programs that allow graduates to go on to pursue the state-mandated certificates and licensure. Students are expected to work collaboratively with one another in an effort to maximize learning for all. General education courses, those required of all UTA graduates, are generally in an 8- or 15-week format, depending on the degree and course. Degree-specific courses vary in length.

23 University of Houston-Victoria 95.3817:196%

The University of Houston - Victoria has 10 online bachelor's degrees, 11 master's degrees and four certificate programs available. Degrees include communication, humanities (English or history), business, marketing, management and healthcare administration. Graduate programs are available in the School of Education and Human Development. The university takes pride in its small student to faculty ratio, allowing students to develop meaningful connections with instructors and peers. Online classes follow the traditional schedule, which includes accelerated 8-week options in the fall and spring and a 5-week option in the summer.

24 Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi 94.7822:174%

In addition to an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a bachelor's in geographic information science, there are four online master's programs available at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The university also offers the eLine Military Program, which facilitates an RN to BSN for those in the military, and gives credit based on medical experience earned while serving the country. Texas residents who are active service or veterans are eligible for this program. Online classes are parallel to on-campus classes, so students experience the same educational rigor no matter where they earn their degree.

25 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 91.355:1 N/A

With programs in allied health, nursing, biomedical sciences, and pharmacy, both undergraduate and graduate level students should gain the necessary skills and experience to excel in healthcare settings and organizations. Courses can be taken traditionally or through electronically-delivered formats. Undergraduates can earn their BS in clinical services management or clinical laboratory science online; graduates can earn a MS in clinical laboratory science. Other academic programs are also available for students studying athletic training, health sciences, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation counseling and audiology.

26 Amberton University 87.6719:1 N/A

This private non-profit university is self-described as being designed for working adults, and offers bachelor degree programs that provide students with an innovative and collaborative learning environment that emphasizes professional development. Online students can earn a BBA in general business management, project management and accounting. Students can also earn a BS in applied studies or human relations and business, also available online through the distance learning program. Master degree programs are offered in counseling, business and human resources, and a number of other specialization programs. They are accredited by the southern association of colleges and schools and are centered on a Christian philosophy.

Search Accredited Texas Online Colleges

Texas students exploring potential online degree and certificate programs can face an overwhelming selection of choices. They need to know how much will it cost to earn a degree and which programs best match their educational goals. The custom search tool below helps students narrow their options by sorting online colleges and programs by factors that matter: tuition, type of degree, cost, acceptance rate, type and more.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
118 results TUITION ACCEPTANCE RATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE
Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 69% STUDENT POPULATION 55,697 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Systems Management (Food Processing Technology)
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Development
  • Master of Science in Sport Management
  • Master of Education in Bilingual Education
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction (Elementary Education)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction (Generalist)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction (Tesol)
  • Master of Education in Educational Psychology - Learning Sciences
  • Master of Education in Public School Administration
  • Master of Science in Bilingual Education
  • Master of Science in Health Education
  • Master of Science in Special Education
  • M.Eng. in Biological And Agricultural Engineering (Food Engineering/Food Technology)
  • Master of Engineering in Industrial Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering
  • Master of Science in Engineering Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Safety Engineering
  • Master of Agriculture (M.Agr.) in Agricultural Development
  • Master of Agriculture in Poultry Science
  • Master of Natural Resource Development (Mnrd)
  • Master of Science in Mathematics
  • Master of Recreation Resources Development (Mrrd)
  • Master of Industrial Distribution
  • Master of Science in Statistics
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Ed.D. Agricultural Education (Doc@Distance)
  • Executive Doctor of Eduction in Curriculum And Instruction
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, Texas 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 50,771 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Assistant
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Information Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business
  • Associate of Applied Science in Marketing
  • Associate of Applied Science in Small Business Management
  • Associate of Applied Science in Programming
  • Associate of Applied Science in Software Applications
  • Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Professional
  • Associate of Applied Science in Web And Internet Services
University of Houston Houston, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 58% STUDENT POPULATION 39,540 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership And Supervision (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Arts Or Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Retailing And Consumer Science (B.S.)
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Science in Construction Management (M.S.)
  • Master of Education in Administration And Supervision - Higher Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction - Mathematics Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Science in Subsea Engineering (M.S.)
  • Master of Arts in Mathematics (M.A.)
  • Master of Science in Foresight (M.S.)
University of North Texas Denton, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 60% STUDENT POPULATION 38,315 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts And Sciences in Applied Technology And Performance Improvement
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts And Sciences in Web-Based Degree Completion Option
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration in Marketing
  • Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management
  • Master of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Master's of Education in Accelerated Online Educational Leadership
  • Accelerated Master of Science in Learning Technologies
  • Master of Science in Educational Psychology (Emphasis in Gifted & Talented Students)
  • Master of Science, Instructional Design And Systems Technology
  • Master of Science, Teaching And Learning With Technology
  • Masters of Education in Special Education (Emphasis in Autism Intervention)
  • Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology
  • Master of Science in Applied Anthropology
  • Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Master of Science in Applied Technology, Training, And Development
  • Master of Science in Long-Term Care, Senior Housing, And Aging Services
  • Master of Science in Merchandising
  • Master of Science, Library Science Or Masters of Science, Information Science
  • Master of Science, Library Science With School Library Certification
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Distance-Delivered Ph.D. in Learning Technologies
The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 60% STUDENT POPULATION 33,329 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor's Completion Degree in Criminology And Criminal Justice (Ccjo)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Child And Family Studies - Learning And Development Track (Ba-Chld)
  • Bachelor of Applied Technology in Computer Information Technology (Bat-Cit)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing For Registered Nurses (Rn To Bsn)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Humanities (Bah)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (Ba-Psyc)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts And Science - Industrial Technology (Baas-Industrial Technology)
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts And Sciences (Baas)
  • Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (Bms)
  • Bachelor of Science in University Studies (Bsus)
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing - Bilingual (Mfa)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Educational Leadership, Principal Certification
  • Master of Business Administration Online (MBAo)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Special Education
  • Master of Arts in Education - Special Education, Autism And Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood
  • Master of Education - Instructional Specialist, Bilingual Education Or Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction - Digital Literacy
  • Master of Education in Curriculum And Instruction - Literacy Studies
  • Master of Education in Educational Technology
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education (Msn)
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Controls
  • Master of Science in Industrial Engineering
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration (Msn)
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Systems Management (Msn-Nsm)
  • Master of Arts in Spanish Translation And Interpreting
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology
  • Master of Public Administration (Mpa)
Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 66% STUDENT POPULATION 33,111 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Studies of Personal Finance
  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture
  • Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Plant And Soil Sciences
  • Bachelor of Arts/Science in University Studies (Baus, Bsus)
  • Bachelor of General Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership & Principal Professional Certification Preparation
  • Master of Art Education
  • Master of Education in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Education
  • Master of Science in Family And Consumer Sciences Education
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Engineering (Healthcare Engineering)
  • Master of Science in Software Engineering
  • Master of Science in Systems And Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Plant And Soil Science
  • Master of Arts in Technical Communication
  • Master of Science in Human Development And Family Studies Emphasis On Gerontology
  • Master of Science in Horticulture
  • Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Science (Msci)
  • Professional Science Master's
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education
  • Doctor of Education in Higher Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum And Instruction (Concentration in Curriculum Studies And Teacher Education)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum And Instruction (Specialization in Science Education)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Systems And Engineering Management
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Technical Communication And Rhetoric
San Antonio College San Antonio, Texas 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 23,004 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Humanities
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Literature
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Natural Sciences
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Communications
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of Applied Science in Corrections
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Mathematics
The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 59% STUDENT POPULATION 21,193 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • M.S. in Criminology Online
The University of Texas-Pan American Edinburg, Texas Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 62% STUDENT POPULATION 20,053 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Health Sciences (Mshs)
  • Master of Public Administration
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The Insider’s View of Texas Colleges Online

To get a better sense of the true landscape of online learning in Texas, we asked each of the colleges on our list to answer a few questions about what makes their programs unique. We heard back from a few of the state’s best institutions. See what they said below:

Online Departments in TEXAS

Dallas Christian College

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

We combine the best parts of the classroom experience with the best of online learning. Our FLEXCampus allows students to choose each week whether to attend in the classroom, to attend via a fully interactive web conference, or to attend by watching the recording of the class session. FLEXCampus allows students to choose the best way to attend based on their location, schedule, and learning style.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our mission is “to educate and mentor,” because we believe that a great education should transform the whole person. Therefore, we integrate personal growth into the heart of our curriculum and coach students throughout their path to graduation. The FLEXCampus at Dallas Christian College makes that education available even when “life” makes it difficult to go to college.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

We are adding two new degree programs in the Spring of 2014 and will continue to add degree programs. We expect to enhance our life-coaching program to be even more personal. We expect to enhance our national accreditation with regional accreditation.

Lubbock Christian University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

At Lubbock Christian University, our goal is to provide our online students with the same personalized attention a student would get in our face-to-face classes. We keep our online classes small and expect our teachers to interact personally with students throughout our courses. Students receive prompt and thorough feedback on assignments. In addition, we try to surround students with a variety of supportive services, including a personal support services coach, disability support services, an online chapel, and an online writing center. We utilize a variety of online teaching strategies and try to utilize cutting edge technology to create an interactive and innovative approach to our online learning. Our mission at Lubbock Christian University is to challenge students to think critically, to excel in their disciplines, and to model Christ.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our online programs are valuable to students because they prepare our students for professional advancement and for living a Christian life. Our students graduate with excellent written and oral communication skills and with the discipline-specific knowledge they need to be successful in their careers. At the same time our students also get to examine ethical dilemmas and professional situations with the mentoring of Christian professors who will help students think critically about how their Christian worldview intersects with their professional responsibilities.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Our online programs will continue to utilize the best pedagogy and research available to develop programs that equip students to be outstanding professionals and dedicated servants of God. Our commitment to students is and will remain that they will get personalized attention and mentoring to help them develop as students and as people. We believe that the college experience should involve more than classroom learning; it should also involve developing critical thinking skills and Christian morals and principles. Whatever the technology or teaching strategies, we will continue to hold true to our values as an institution and do everything we can to provide an unrivaled experience for students.

Midwestern State University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

MSU has systematically chosen programs to deliver to students online. The effort began in the Health Science fields where learners were in need of continued educational opportunities while working in their trained professions. The online programs allowed these students to continue in their employment while earning the advanced degree for skills and advancement opportunities.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

MSU is an exceptional value regardless of the methodology. However, the opportunities presented for the online students have an increased value due to access and flexibility in residence. The Health Science programs and the Adult Completion degree (BAAS) are targeted to the experienced learner with clear learning and professional objectives in mind.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

MSU will continue to choose the programs and courses developed for online delivery carefully. There are plans to expand in the professional degrees as well as increased course offerings for the students that are taking traditional campus courses. An online M.A. in Criminal Justice and an online MBA will be coming in late 2014 or early 2015.

Prairie View A & M University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The overall goal is to provide high quality programs at affordable tuition to professionals with business or non-business backgrounds interested in building their management competencies. PVAMU's COB has offered online courses for a number of years, and has offered a fully online program - the MBA - for nearly three years. Plans are underway to offer a BBA in Accounting and a BA in Management as a degree completion option.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

The PVAMU online MBA is accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Businesses (AACSB) International ensuring high quality. The AACSB has stringent requirements on faculty qualifications, admissions and student learning outcomes. The online MBA can be completed in 18 months and represents a great value given similar programs. Financial assistance and scholarships are available for the eligible students.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

We wish to significantly grow these two programs over the next five years. We want to attract more a more diverse group of students - working professionals and non-traditional students - from outside the immediate Houston area, especially from neighboring states and from other countries. We have one of the best faculty, all of them (who teach graduate courses) have doctoral degrees and many have experience in the private sector. The faculty and administrators from dean to the department head, all have personally taught online, and understand the challenges presented by the online format from the learner’s perspective.

Schreiner University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Schreiner's online students benefit from the same one-on-one attention and mentorship that its traditional face-to-face students enjoy. Technology is not a barrier to student engagement, but an enhancement.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Most online students are seeking flexibility to fit education within their busy schedules, plus personal attention from faculty who are committed to student success. Schreiner delivers this effective combination.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Schreiner will continue measured growth in its online courses and degree programs, ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of each student's experience.

South Texas College

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

South Texas College’s faculty and staff believe that learning should provide the same quality student outcomes regardless of instructional medium. With that in mind, online learning at South Texas College attempts to provide students with multiple modes of learning and assessment in a given course or program of study.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

South Texas College offers over 20 fully online certificate and degree programs. These certificates and programs are especially valuable because today’s students are “time-bound” by their family and work responsibilities. Online courses and programs allow students to continue their education while still balancing all their other responsibilities.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

In five years, South Texas College plans to provide at least 5-7 more online programs and enhance its students services provided to students. As enrollment increases, the college sees that this mode of learning will become more mainstream, and our students will greatly benefit from the opportunities that they provide.

Texas A & M International University

We have worked diligently to develop online programs, especially at the graduate level, that are regionally relevant, but have a broad national and international appeal. Examples of this are our MS in Criminal Justice, the MA in Translation and the MBA in Spanish. We think of our online programs as passport degrees to global opportunities.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our faculty are top-notch educators adept at online teaching. Each has substantial research expertise that also taps into our unique location, cultural confluences and the international experience that infuses our programs. These strengths, combined with our low cost and flexible entry, are proving most attractive to students.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

We will continue to build on our innovative online programs that have a regional economic impact, but can clearly be exported nationally and internationally. Our campus and programs are at an enviable crossroads of the Americas, which will continue to fuel our online programs in Spanish for Spanish-speaking countries in this Hemisphere and beyond.

Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

Our instructors are dedicated to creating online courses that engage students in authentic activities and prepare them for problem solving and careers in the world beyond school. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi currently offers fully online degree programs. Several core curriculum courses and hundreds of other courses are blended or fully online. Students are well supported by instructors, support services, and the Islander community. Instructors who teach online participate in professional development that ensures that their courses are well organized, rigorous, highly interactive, and engaging.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

The expertise of our instructors in their fields, as well as their dedication to their students, is what makes our programs so valuable. Instructors put a lot of time into developing rigorous, engaging courses. Those who teach online attend 24 workshops that cover best practices for online learning and how to develop authentic learning experiences. Online courses are reviewed for quality and faculty work in mentoring pairs to provide input and critical peer-review. The Center for Faculty Excellence also provides professional development experiences for faculty to support their effective teaching. Instructors and staff work in concert to clarify expectations for students, provide support they need to succeed, and provide individualized attention and feedback. With Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s online programs students find convenience, choice, and more flexible scheduling. Students are able to tailor their experience to their individual situations and learning styles. Online instruction tends to provide multimodal presentations of content that is more accessible to people with disabilities as well as to students who speak English as a foreign language. Unlike in face-to-face lectures, students can review online content as often as they need to. Many students have expressed a preference for learning online as opposed to the face-to-face classroom.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Currently, most instructors are delivering their courses with online components. Within five years, all instructors will deliver their courses as web-enhanced, blended, or fully online. Our institution is rapidly expanding its online offerings. Within five years, we will offer many more certificate and degree programs online. We also envision many partnerships with off-campus organizations that will facilitate authentic experiences for students beyond the physical classroom.

The University of Texas-Pan American

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

The University of Texas-Pan American offers online graduate programs to be innovative and entrepreneurial. They provide better access to students to the great programs that we offer at UTPA. We strive to maintain a student perspective and respond to their need as far as program delivery. Some of our online programs are scheduled during the same semester period as our on-campus program whereas other programs offer an online, accelerated format that offers the same curriculum at a much faster pace. It's all about offering students several options that make sense for their own learning styles and personal obligations.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

All of the graduate programs at UTPA - online and on-campus - offer added depth to the learning experience based on extensive faculty expertise and research, some of which is focused on the unique characteristics and research on an international, border region.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

UTPA expects to consistently increase our offerings of online graduate programs in response to student demand. This growth will come from offering a second delivery format for existing programs and offering new degree programs solely online. We believe that online education will have a transformative effect on UTPA. As faculty develop new ways to consider the interaction with students, these techniques will then be transitioned to the on-campus programs.

University of Houston-Clear Lake

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

University of Houston – Clear Lake (UHCL) is a SACS accredited university and offers quality online programs in the fields of business, science, education and human science and humanities. Currently, the Bachelor’s programs are all completer programs. One can take the lower level courses at a community college and complete the program online by taking the upper level courses at UHCL. Online Master’s offerings at UHCL could be completed fully online. The online programs offered are affordable, career oriented and caters to the needs of a modern student population. University faculty and staff are well equipped and in tune with changing technology and pedagogy.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Online programs at UHCL are attainable, user friendly, student centered and applicable to real life careers. A student can achieve a certificate, a bachelors or a master’s degree while working a full time job and/or raising a family. The university faculty and staff strive hard to offer quality online courses and programs by maintaining the state and national standards to make the student learning experience an excellent one. The current programs could be found in:

http://prtl.uhcl.edu/portal/page/portal/PRV/OnlinePrograms/UHCLOnlineHome

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

In the future, UHCL plans to grow fully online programs in the field of science and technology, education, leadership, and behavioral sciences. Beyond the next five years, UHCL will offer selected lower level courses online to provide yet another pathway for freshman and sophomores to take required courses to meet their program requirements.

University of Houston-Victoria

How would you describe the institution's approach to online learning?

UHV provides programs that meet the needs of working students in the Crossroads region and beyond who cannot find a way to attend face-to-face classes. Many students now take courses in online programs but also hybrid courses that have some face-to-face requirements. In effect, UHV does not make distinctions between its face-to-face and online program delivery.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

These programs are convenient for students who wish to balance work, family and education.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years?

UHV views its mission as one of expansion, extending its online program inventory to meet workforce needs, while expanding program quality through new technologies and electronic pedagogy.

West Texas A & M University

How would you describe your institution's approach to online learning?

West Texas A&M University’s approach to online learning is to focus on delivering high quality, up to date programs taught in a robust online environment. We seek to maintain quality instruction in the spirit of continuously improving our courses and programs.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

The focus of WTAMU’s online programs is to employ full-time faculty members who are dedicated to the long-run quality of our program offerings and to the success of our students. Our programs are characterized by achieving the highest level of accreditation available across multiple disciplines.

Where do you see your online programs in the next five years? Beyond?

Our expectation for the next five years and beyond is that WTAMU will continue to expand online program offerings and will incorporate technological advances in a way that will enhance quality in order to remain a leader in the delivery of distance education.

A Guide to Online Colleges in Texas

The growth of educational technology has brought a wide range of distance learning opportunities to Texas. More and more colleges are beginning to offer full courses and certificates within the online platform, and many have graduated to full distance-learning degree programs. Texas Tech University, for example, has more than 50 fully online and hybrid programs available to students via its TTU Worldwide eLearning. This includes three undergraduate minors, five bachelor’s degrees, 15 master’s degrees, seven doctorate degrees and 20 graduate certificate or prep programs. In addition to Texas Tech, 52 other four-year Texas colleges provided online learning opportunities to students.

Texas belongs to the Academic Common Market, allowing all residents to pay in-state tuition at any of the 1,900 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the 15 participating institutions in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Start exploring. Here’s a look at two large Texas cities with a strong online degree presence, offering students an exceptional range of options:

Distance Learning in Dallas: Online Colleges & Courses

Dallas is wired, and distance education here has built a four-decade heritage. For example, the University of Texas at Dallas is ranked 4th in the nation among the 2014 best online business and MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report. UT’s online business degree programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the main campus location shows its connections to technology — it’s nestled on 500 acres in nearby Richardson, home of the Telecom Corridor.

The Dallas County Community College District is developing the Ready2Go online associate degree, a program offered 100 percent online, featuring eight-week classes that can be taken two at a time, building to an accelerated online degree designed for students planning to transfer to any Texas public college or university. The community college district operates the R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications (LCET), a leader in courseware development for 40 years. LCET first began creating distance learning classes in 1972, moving from the television-based courses of the era to entire programs accessible via today’s mobile devices. Other schools offering online degree programs include University of North Texas, a public institution based in Denton on the northern edge of the Dallas metro area. Independent online educators range from the University of Dallas, a private Catholic school in neighboring Irving, to nationally based entities such as Argosy University, DeVry University and University of Phoenix..

Distance Learning in Houston

Whether it’s their work and family obligations, or scheduling conflicts, not all Houston residents are able to commute or relocate to attend college. For students like these, the area’s major colleges, universities and trade schools offer a range of online degree and certificate programs. Some are hybrids, requiring partial campus attendance, and many degrees can be completed entirely online. The University of Houston is ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for online graduate education. The university’s class formats include hybrid, fully online and interactive videoconferencing modalities. Adults seeking continuing education can find online programs in technology, health care, business, teaching and law through Houston Community College. Texas Woman’s University, a public school with campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston, offers nearly 30 different undergraduate and graduate degrees in blended and fully online formats.

Houston offers so many diversions for students that they have to stay focused. There’s a lively café and nightlife scene, biking and water skiing, professional sports, concerts, rodeos, Tex-Mex restaurants, nearby lakes and the Gulf of Mexico to explore.

Tuition & Cost of Living in Texas

Students in Texas need to consider one of the most prominent elements of the college decision: the cost. Tuition, the largest and most notable cost, can vary depending on degree level, school choice and student residency status. In 2012, in-state Texas students paid an average of $9,776 per year in tuition.

Fees and tuition are the main costs of pursuing a degree, but college students should not forget the cost of living (COL) associated with post-secondary education. These expenses can come in the form of room and board for on-campus students or as rent, utilities, food and so on, for those living off-campus. Texas falls at number ten in the nation for the lowest COL, with an index 9 percent below the U.S. average. Check the cities in Texas to find out more specific data as compared to the national average (100):

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Harlingen -17.20% -24.20% -18.50% 5.60% -11.30% -4.80% -20.90%
McAllen -15.00% -22.40% -20.20% 3.10% -7.60% -2.10% -15.70%
Brownsville -14.20% -29.00% -11.40% -6.90% -5.00% -3.50% -8.60%
Wichita Falls -13.50% -16.00% -8.10% -15.60% -17.50% -5.50% -12.60%
Temple -12.60% -28.20% -16.30% 7.60% -2.10% -8.80% -7.20%
Paris -11.10% -20.00% -6.40% -12.60% -5.90% -6.00% -7.00%
Waco -11.10% -11.50% -18.20% -14.70% -2.40% -9.10% -9.50%
Lubbock -10.90% -19.60% -10.00% -25.20% -2.40% -1.70% -2.90%
Brazoria County -10.70% -24.20% -12.10% 0.80% -4.00% -4.40% -4.40%
Amarillo -10.50% -10.60% -10.10% -19.60% -7.90% -4.80% -9.20%
Round Rock -10.30% -22.00% -18.10% 7.00% -12.40% -3.40% -2.40%
El Paso -9.60% -14.00% -0.10% -11.90% -3.00% -4.60% -11.50%
Seguin -9.30% -21.50% -9.30% 3.80% -4.40% -3.10% -4.90%
Corpus Christi -9.20% -20.40% -17.60% 13.50% -6.70% -7.20% -4.00%
Odessa -9.10% -11.90% -8.80% -11.20% -6.40% -3.40% -7.60%
Fort Worth -8.90% -22.00% -10.20% 6.20% -2.40% -6.20% -3.90%
Weatherford -8.60% -20.30% -4.10% 7.40% -3.80% -6.90% -6.70%
Conroe -8.60% -19.90% -10.60% -3.90% -6.20% -5.00% -0.30%
Dallas -8.10% -29.30% -3.80% 5.50% 0.90% 3.80% 0.40%
Houston -7.80% -18.00% -14.90% -2.30% -0.80% -5.40% -0.10%
Lufkin -7.60% -16.60% -12.20% -1.30% -6.00% 5.50% -1.70%
San Angelo -7.60% -16.00% -10.70% 6.00% -2.40% -3.30% -5.10%
Nacogdoches -7.50% -16.70% -9.00% -2.30% -6.20% 2.60% -2.00%
Midland -6.80% -10.80% -10.30% -6.60% -4.30% -1.30% -3.40%
San Marcos -5.20% 0.10% -11.30% -13.20% -9.90% -7.40% -3.20%
Austin -4.50% -14.90% -10.70% 10.70% 0.20% 0.30% 0.40%
San Antonio -4.30% -4.70% -15.10% -17.20% 0.70% -0.10% 2.20%
Beaumont -4.30% -4.10% -12.90% -7.50% 0.40% -1.30% -1.90%
Tyler -3.70% -8.50% -7.30% 2.10% 0.20% -6.90% -0.70%
Plano -2.60% -14.80% 1.30% 3.90% 1.80% 2.90% 2.60%
Arlington -0.70% -10.60% -5.60% 9.90% -1.70% 5.40% 6.40%

Understanding Accreditation at Online Colleges in Texas

Public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities in Texas earn accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), a regional organization dedicated to high standards in post-secondary education. SACS vets institutions against various criteria related to curricula, faculty, teaching methods and more. Texas colleges may seek accreditation from specialized organizations, as well, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, for example, maintains AACSB accreditation, which signifies ongoing quality education in business and related fields. Any student considering enrollment at a Texas university should investigate its accreditation status thoroughly.

For-profit schools often hold national accreditation instead of regional. National accreditation agencies have different criteria and, in some cases, focus solely on non-traditional institutions such as fully online schools and career colleges. In Texas, for example, for-profit schools often seek accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), in addition to any subject-specific accreditation that apply. Whether regional, national or specialized, accreditation matters. While serving as a sign of quality, it’s also required to procure federal financial aid.

Great Resources for Online Students in Texas

You don’t have to go it alone! There are free resources available nationally and in Texas to assist online students to make sound decisions about college. The following links go to federal websites for assistance in applying for college, filing financial aid requests, navigating military educational benefits, and finding accreditation information about prospective institutions. There are also links to assist in research, writing, and qualifying entrance examinations. Last, there’s a section for official Texas education links:

Major Texas Educational Resources: