Michigan Online Colleges & Universities – Top Online Schools for 2015

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Quick Facts:
  • 67 Colleges

    in Michigan offer
    full online programs

  • 1,525 online programs

    were available
    in 2014

  • 397 online graduate degrees

    were offered by Michigan
    schools in 2014

Best Online Colleges in Michigan for 2015

With nearly one million students currently enrolled in 204 postsecondary institutions, educational offerings in Michigan cover a wide range of degree levels and disciplines. Community colleges, technical and trade schools, universities, and online colleges offer programs ranging from certificates to doctoral studies. Michigan’s state government is known for being generous in providing financial aid: since 1964 it has dispensed approximately $4 billion in assistance to more than three million students. In the guide that follows, prospective online students can learn about the best programs to meet their educational goals. Schools that have risen above the competition by demonstrating excellence in online education can be found on our list of the Best Online Colleges in Michigan for 2015.

RANK COLLEGE Tuition And Fees Enrollment Accredited MORE INFO
1 Baker College of Jackson$7,5603,687YES
Undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs are available through Baker College's Online Campus, or Baker Online. The online college has more than 40 fully-online, regionally accredited programs. Classes last about six weeks each and are taught with Blackboard software. Baker's Instructional Design Department works on curriculum to optimize its online delivery.
2 Baker College of Muskegon$7,5606,276YES
Baker Online includes undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs taught completely online. All students start with a three-week orientation class and classes are expected to each last about six weeks. Online college courses include Blackboard software and students can access course material at any time. Baker Online graduates receive indefinite, free employment assistance.
3 Baker College of Clinton Township$7,5607,671YES
Baker College's Online Campus has regionally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. All online college students start with a three-week orientation class. Courses include Blackboard software and students can access course material at any time. Typical online classes with Baker College last about six weeks.
4 Baker College of Flint$7,5609,172YES
Baker College of Flint offers extensive numbers of online college classes to students interested in distance learning. Degrees can be found at the associate and bachelor's levels in areas that include computer science, general studies, health administration, and more. The college, accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, also provides a fully online doctoral degree in business administration.
5 Baker College of Cadillac$7,5602,832YES
Baker College of Cadillac offers a full range of online college degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can complete associate, bachelor's and master's degrees with subjects including business, information systems, nursing, occupational therapy, and sundry others. The school, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, also offers e-certificate programs and a doctoral degree in business administration online.
6 Baker College of Owosso$7,5604,148YES
Baker College provides 40 associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs as well as certificates. All courses are 100 percent online with no need to go to campus. Programs are set to last about a month and a half and students can access online college class material at any time. Students are assigned -- First Year Advisors -- to answer questions about classes and provide guidance.
7 Baker College of Allen Park$7,5605,459YES
Baker Online offers more than 40 fully-online certificate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Online college programs are regionally accredited and courses are set to last about six weeks, plus an initial three-week long orientation course. Students can access their classes, which are taught using Blackboard software, at any time.
8 Baker College of Auburn Hills$7,5604,420YES
Baker College's Online Campus has undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs taught entirely online. The regionally accredited online college courses include Blackboard software and students can access course material at any time. More than 25,000 students around the world attend Baker Online.
9 Baker College of Port Huron$7,5601,950YES
Baker College of Fort Huron offers a wide range of online college classes to students who prefer distance learning. Degrees can be found at the undergraduate level in areas that include criminal justice, game software development, health administration, and more. The college, accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, also offers a doctoral degree in business administration available entirely online.
10 Northern Michigan University$8,41410,081YES
Northern Michigan University provides undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and individual courses online. The University is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. A compatibility quiz for those interested in finding out if online college learning is best for them can be found on the University's website.
11 Eastern Michigan University$8,68421,961YES
Eastern Michigan University Online, or EMU-Online, offers undergraduate courses and degrees, graduate degrees, and graduate-level certificates. Some courses are hybrids, meaning that some of the class must be taken in-person. Students can access online college course material anytime and the EMU-Online help desk is available 24/7.
12 University of Michigan-Flint$8,7718,198YES
The University of Michigan-Flint has hundreds of online courses as well as three fully-online bachelor's programs. The school provides online college student services, including advising, financial aid, and library services. Courses include Blackboard software. Students can check on the University's website to see if UM-Flint is in compliant with their state's distance education laws.
13 Lake Superior State University$9,3643,050YES
Lake Superior State University offers individual online college courses and entire degrees through its distance learning programming. Web-based degrees at the school include a Bachelor's of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor's of Science in Fire Science. The school, accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, typically has its regular full-time faculty members providing the online coursework.
14 Western Michigan University$9,60621,897YES
Western Michigan University offers undergraduate and graduate programs online in addition to graduate-level certificates. Some online college programs are hybrids, meaning that some of the courses must be taken in-person. The University offers online student services, such as BroncoJOBS for those interested in posting their resume and applying for jobs and internships or writing tutoring via Skype.
15 Grand Valley State University$9,71623,556YES
Grand Valley State University has individual online college courses as well as bachelor's and master's degrees available online. Many of the degree programs are hybrids, meaning that about half of the course can be taken online-only. Most courses are not designed to be self-paced. Classes use Blackboard software and teachers occasionally ask students to be online at a set time.
16 Central Michigan University$9,71623,696YES
Central Michigan University's global campus offers undergraduate and graduate-level certificates and degrees. Most online college courses require students to take at least one, in-person proctored exam and online classes may also meet online at scheduled time for chat sessions. All classes use Blackboard software and material is available at any time.
17 Ferris State University$9,74415,753YES
Ferris Online offers bachelor's and master's degrees, classes, and certificates that are mostly or fully online. "Guest students" who want continuing education units, want to maintain a certificate, or are who are just interested in attending a few courses can bypass some of the admission process. A self-assessment quiz for those interested in finding out if online college learning is best for them can be found on the website.
18 Oakland University$10,39919,267YES
Oakland University's eLearning program offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in addition to certificates and specializations. While some classes and programs are totally online, some are hybrids, meaning that part of the class may have an in-person component. Some online college classes use Moodle software, Elluminate video-conferencing, ePortfolio, Second Life, and iTunes U.
19 Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration$10,4251,474YES
Walsh College offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs for business students. Up to 82 community college credits can be transferred and used toward a degree at Walsh. Courses can be taught completely online or in the -- 2+2 -- format, meaning that classes meet one day per week for two hours with weekly deliverables due online.
20 Wayne State University$10,57824,300YES
Students can obtain bachelor's and master's degrees in addition to certificates through Wayne University's online college program. Some degrees are offered fully online, while others only have some online course options. Most instructors administer tests online, though some ask students to take proctored exams at testing centers. Many classes utilize Blackboard learning software, Skype, and Wimba.
21 Michigan Jewish Institute$10,7001,715YES
Michigan Jewish Institute provides online learning options at the undergraduate level to students interested in expanding their religious education. Online college programs include a Bachelor's of Science degree in Judaic Studies with concentrations in areas such as education and leadership. The school, accredited through the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools, also provides related certificates and degrees to choose from.
22 Davenport University$12,53612,885YES
Davenport University Online, or DU Online, has undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in business, technology, and health. Online college courses include Blackboard software. Prospective students can log onto Blackboard to view a demo course. Davenport also provides 24/7 tech support for its students.
23 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor$12,63428,243YES
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers online college master's programs in engineering. Students from throughout the United States and nearly 50 countries have received their degree through the program. All courses use the CTools management system and are self-paced. Non-candidates for the degree can be introduced to courses before applying to U-M or another institution. Visitors taking classes for no credit are also allowed.
24 Michigan State University$12,76940,015YES
Michigan State University has more than 100 graduate and undergraduate courses in addition to graduate-level, doctoral and certificate programs online. Because institutions offering distance education programs must acquire authorization from the states in which it operates and Michigan State University has not sought authorization in Arkansas or Maryland, students from those states are not eligible to apply.
25 Michigan Technological University$12,8536,023YES
Michigan Tech Online Learning, or Tech Online, provides graduate-level and certificate programs in engineering, science, and business. While some programs are online college only, others are blended and, typically, the school prefers that students defend theses, dissertations, reports, and projects in-person on campus. Some graduate programs also have a residency requirement. Courses are offered via video streaming, videoconferencing, and the Canvas Learning Management System.
26 Great Lakes Christian College$13,380252YES
Great Lakes Christian Colleges provides online college coursework to students interested in intellectual, spiritual and personal growth as well as distance education. The school is accredited through The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and its online courses, such as restoration history, have a Christian-based orientation.
27 Madonna University$14,7003,870YES
Madonna University offers graduate-level degrees, certificates, and endorsements. The school has also partnered with Ed2go, a continuing education provider, to present 300 online college courses, each lasting six-weeks, as well as certificate training programs. Madonna University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
28 Sacred Heart Major Seminary$16,027313YES
Sacred Heart Major Seminary provides an online post-pontifical graduate degree to those interested in pastoral theology. The online college degree leads to a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and is only open to Catholic priests. The degree allows for both common core and elective coursework, and, although offering most coursework online, does require a five-week on-campus component.
29 Cleary University$17,760816YES
Students attending Cleary University can select blended-learning programs and degrees that are available entirely online. Bachelor's and master's degrees, aimed at boosting student skills, can be found in subjects like business management and health care administration. The university, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, also offers students extensive options through online college certificates.
30 Marygrove College$18,0201,169YES
Marygrove College provides online graduate programs in education, modern language translation, and human resources management. As a partner with Ed2go, Marygrove also offers non-credit class work online. Courses taken for credit toward a degree are each seven weeks long, and students are expected to take two courses per semester. Marygrove College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
31 Finlandia University$19,898671YES
Finlandia University offers fully online college courses to students who may prefer distance education to campus-based learning. Its "eCollege" platform gives students access to coursework 24/7 and to technical support around-the-clock. Students can find classes that are entirely online, a combination of campus and online instruction, or campus-based with online components.
32 Northwood University-Michigan$20,1403,765YES
Online college options available through Northwood University in Michigan provide bachelor's degrees to students who seek distance learning. Courses for most degrees are eight weeks in length, but students can also choose to compete blended-learning programs. Degrees available in areas including aftermarket management, entrepreneurship, and marketing can help round out a student's learning.
33 Siena Heights University$20,5542,884YES
Sienna Heights University offers fully online college degrees to students who want to complete an undergraduate education via distance learning. E-learning courses are eight weeks in length and feature weekly discussion threads. The university is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, and provides degrees in areas that include business administration, multidisciplinary studies, and professional communications.
34 Spring Arbor University$21,5203,769YES
Spring Arbor University, Michigan's largest Evangelical university, provides online associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in business, communication, education, nursing, and spiritual formation, among other concentrations. Students can access online college material from SAU Online at any time and may use discussion boards, live audio-conferencing, iTunes U, and other tools throughout their course.
35 Concordia University-Ann Arbor$21,600553YES
Concordia University at Ann Arbor, a Christian school, provides online college degrees to students who want to advance their education. Master's degrees are available through distance learning in areas such as curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and organizational leadership. The school's online programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
36 Cornerstone University$22,3882,680YES
Cornerstone University Online, or CU Online, offers adult learners degrees in business, education, and ministry. The University also has individual online college courses. Textbooks and other learning resources can be accessed on mobile devices. Cornerstone University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
37 Andrews University$23,4282,316YES
Andrews University provides interactive online college degrees, which includes courses with a specific start and end date, or -- self-paced -- degrees that can be started at any time and can be completed within six moths. The University has both undergraduate and graduate programs. Though most courses are for distance learners, some classes may require occasional visits to campus.
38 Lawrence Technological University$26,2783,328YES
Lawrence Technological University offers online college programs for bachelor's degrees in business administration or information technology, and master's degrees in business administration, architecture, educational technology, engineering, and information systems. The University also offers certificate programs and all courses include Blackboard software. Lawrence Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
39 Kettering University$29,9882,013YES
Distance-learning programs available through Kettering University provide convenience, flexibility and portability to students. The school, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and School, has offered distance learning for more than 30 years. Much of the school's online college is video based and includes recordings of class lectures, discussions, and student questions.
40 University of Detroit Mercy$32,5003,598YES
University of Detroit Mercy offers 12 online master's degree and certificate programs. While many courses are online-only, some are hybrids, meaning some class time on-campus may be required. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
41 Michigan State University College of LawN/AN/AYES
Students at Michigan State University College of Law can pursue an online Master's of Laws degree in global food to give them a better understanding about agricultural industries, food safety, law and government. They need to already have a Juris Doctor, Bachelor's of Law or other comparable degree to be eligible to apply. Students have up to five years to complete the online program.
42 Western Theological Seminary$8,200369YES
Western Theological Seminary offers an online Master of Divinity degree over a 4 yr or 5 yr format. Many of the courses are completely online, but 2-4 weeks of on-campus intensives are also required each year. Traveling & housing costs are the responsibility of the student. An online Master of Arts degree is also offered and can be completed in 2 years. The seminary supplies online instruction through Canvas software and is accredited through the Association of Theological Schools.

Search Accredited Michigan Online Colleges

Online students in Michigan often live very busy lives. In the midst of personal and professional obligations, it can be overwhelming to search among hundreds of options for degrees and certificate programs. One way to streamline this process is to use the custom search tool below to filter prospective online colleges and programs by factors such as tuition, types of degrees offered, acceptance rates, and accreditation.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
67 results TUITION ACCEPTANCE RATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE
Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 69% STUDENT POPULATION 49,317 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Management, Strategy and Leadership - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Criminal Justice - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Law Enforcement Intelligence and Analysis - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Education - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Educational Technology - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Foreign Language Teaching - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Health Professions Education - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Literacy and Language Instruction - Graduate Specialization?(AP)
  • Special Education - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Teaching and Curriculum - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Biomedical Laboratory Operations - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Biomedical Laboratory Science - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Clinical Laboratory Science - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Nursing - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN track only)?(AP)
  • Nursing - Master of Science in Nursing -?
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Family Community Services - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Judicial Administration - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Packaging - Master of Science?(AP)
  • Program Evaluation - Master of Arts?(AP)
  • Youth Development - Master of Arts?(AP)
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, Michigan Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 33% STUDENT POPULATION 43,710 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Accelerated Second Career Bsn
  • Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion On Campus
  • Bachelor of Science in Traditional Bsn
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Health Systems, Nursing Leadership, And Effectiveness Science
  • Master of Science in Computerized Dentistry
  • Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner & Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Executive Master's Program in Health Management And Policy
  • Master of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Master of Science in Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Master of Science in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Master of Science in Pediatric Dentistry
  • Master of Science in Restorative Dentistry
  • Master's Concentration in Occupational Health
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Midwife And Family Nurse Practitioner (Combined)
  • Nurse Midwife And Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Combined)
  • Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Master of Science in Biomaterials
  • Master of Science in Endodontics
  • Master of Science in General Practice Residency
  • Master of Science in Orthodontics
  • Master of Science in Periodontics
  • Master of Science in Prosthodontics
  • Master's International Program (Pcmi)
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Md/Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Md/Master in Public Policy (Mpp)
  • Md/Master of Arts (Education)
  • (Post-Masters) Doctor of Nursing Practice (Dnp)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Oral Health Sciences
  • Md/Master of Public Health (Mph)
  • Md/Mscr (Master of Science in Clinical Research)
  • Medical Scientist Training Program (Mstp); Md/Phd
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Phd)
  • Md/Master of Science in Information (Msi)
Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 76% STUDENT POPULATION 27,897 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Social Work in Social Work
MASTERS DEGREES
  • MBA in Business Administration
  • Master of Education in Career And Technical Education
  • Master of Education in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Library And Information Science
Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, Michigan Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 63% STUDENT POPULATION 26,841 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Integrated Leadership Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Community Development - Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Community Development - Community Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Community Development - Public Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts in Administration - Building Code Administration
  • Bachelor of Applied Arts in Administration - Organization Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Administration - Building Code Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Administration - Organization Administration
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Arts in School Principalship - Charter School Leadership
  • Master of Arts in School Principalship - Site-Based Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Erp Emphasis Using Sap Software
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Human Resource Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Logistics Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Marketing
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Vdo
  • Master of Science in Administration - Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Administration - Human Resources Administration
  • Master of Science in Administration - Information Resource Management
  • Master of Science in Administration - International Administration
  • Master of Science in Administration - Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education - Curriculum And Instruction
  • Master of Arts in Education - Instruction
  • Master of Arts in Education - Training And Development
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Science in Nutrition And Dietetics
  • Master of Science in Administration - Public Administration
  • Master of Science in Administration - Recreation & Park Administration
  • Master of Science in Administration - General Administration
  • Master of Science in Administration - Philanthropy And Fundraising
  • Master of Science in Administration - Research Administration
DOCTORATE DEGREES
  • Doctor of Health Administration
Grand Valley State University Allendale, Michigan Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 83% STUDENT POPULATION 24,477 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Education in Educational Technology
Macomb Community College Warren, Michigan 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 23,446 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of General Studies
Lansing Community College Lansing, Michigan 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 17,562 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate in Arts in Art History
  • Associate of Business in Computer Programmer/Analyst
  • Associate of Business in E-Business
  • Associate in Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
  • Associate in Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities
  • Associate in Arts in Spanish
  • Associate in Arts in Psychology
  • Associate in Arts in Sociology
Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, Michigan 2+ years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE NR STUDENT POPULATION 16,590 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
ASSOCIATE DEGREES
  • Associate of Arts in Information Security
Ferris State University Big Rapids, Michigan Four or more years TUITION
ACCEPTANCE RATE 76% STUDENT POPULATION 14,707 SCHOOL
TYPE
Public
BACHELOR'S DEGREES
  • Bachelor of Science in Automotive Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning And Refrigeration (Hvacr) Engineering Technology And Energy Management
  • Bachelor of Education Degree in Technical Education/ Pro-Mo-Ted
  • Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Medicine Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Rn To Bsn
  • Bachelor of Integrative Studies
MASTERS DEGREES
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
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Deans Talk: Inside Michigan’s Online Colleges

What makes the best online colleges unique? We asked each of the schools on our list to describe their programs and what sets them apart. Here’s what they had to say:

Online Departments in Michigan

Ferris State University

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

Ferris has developed degree programs for online delivery that we feel demonstrates our unique strengths, such as our Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration degree, our Automotive Management degree, and our many and varied programs in the health professions areas. Additionally, we have developed many of our 300-and 400-level courses for online delivery to provide alternatives for students who are unable to attend one of our campus locations. All of our programs and courses have the same outcomes and rigorous standards as our traditional face-to-face offerings, and our faculty members develop and encourage collaborative learning environments within our online offerings.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Students today have many areas competing for their time and attention, such as work and family obligations. People who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree recognize the value of the higher degree in the job market, but the attainment of the degree also results in additional financial obligations. Ferris provides online degree programs that allow students to transfer in portions of their degree requirements from prior college coursework that can help to reduce student debt. We are providing a cost-efficient and convenient method for students to complete their degree. These features, combined with responsive faculty and a culture of caring student services, make Ferris stand apart.

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

We’re committed to growth in our online programs while at the same time continuing to provide exceptional student services. We have new degree programs in development to provide more options for our students. In addition, Ferris State University continues to explore new technologies to enhance the students’ learning experiences.

Grand Valley State University

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

Grand Valley State University believes that the most successful online educational experience engages students and promotes interaction with faculty members.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

Our students enjoy the flexibility of fully online programs and courses combined with personal, face-to-face contact with professors.

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

We will continue to grow our online learning programs based on demand, opportunity, and ability to deliver the academic excellence for which the university is known.

Western Theological Seminary

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

Simply said, our approach to online learning is to offer "one degree." For 125 years Western Theological Seminary students have earned their Divinity degrees on campus, in our city, sitting at a desk, in a classroom, face to face with their professor. Online learn changed most of that. We knew that the quality of learning could easily decline. Therefore we approached Distance Learning with a commitment to maintain "One Degree." Our goal was to extend formal theological education with online learning, without sacrificing the high educational outcomes expected from our residence students. "One Degree" at Western Theological Seminary means that our Distance Learning students may expect the same curriculum, instruction from the same tenured faculty, the same diploma and the same quality as our residential students receive. It is "one degree" that comes in two formats, both Residential and Distance Learning. Beyond academic courses both formats include tenured faculty attention for advising, mentored internships, annual spiritual formation retreats, daily worship, cultural immersion trips, shared meals on campus, seminars focusing on diversity training, self-care and sexual abuse prevention. All vital learning is experienced by all students pursuing a degree, whether they are residential students or distance learning students.

What makes your online programs so valuable to students?

  • Our online programs allow a manageable pace for degree completion.
  • Our online students do not need to relinquish their incomes, or uproot their families to earn a degree.
  • Required internships are completed in the churches or ministries to which our online learners are already committed.
  • All students keep to the same pace of learning in each course but there are no synchronous requirements. Each week students engage the lectures and readings on their own schedule.
  • Weekly message boards lead to more thoughtful, in-depth and enriching discussions than time could ever allow in a classroom setting.

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

Western Theological Seminary has been on the front edge of using technology to make formal theological education accessible. We will remain there, blending the best of academic rigor, faith formation, and technological advances to equip men and women who are called by God to lead the church in mission. As educational technology improves we will adopt it, reducing where we can the time and travel expense of face-to-face learning sessions. However, we will do this as long as the quality of learning is not compromised.

A Guide to Online Colleges in Michigan

In addition to private for-profit schools focused on distance learning, traditional educational institutions in Michigan have also adopted online delivery, enabling remote studies for a variety of subjects and degree programs. In 2013, Michigan students had access to 42 four-year colleges offering some level of online learning. Central Michigan University’s online education opportunities exemplify the state’s overall growth in this area. CMU offers more than 50 online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, in addition to various certificate options. The school’s online learning resource center provides students with step-by-step support services from application to graduation. A great way to grasp the range of academic options is to explore campus and online learning opportunities in one of the state’s largest cities, Detroit.

Detroit Colleges and Universities

Detroit is known as the original seat of the American automobile industry and supports an outstanding group of colleges and universities. Wayne State University is located in the city’s cultural center and offers over 370 degree and certificate programs. The University of Detroit Mercy offers more than 100 programs taught from a Catholic perspective. Wayne County Community College operates five campuses throughout the city, providing occupational and career programs at certificate and associate degree levels in a range of studies.

The College for Creative Studies is a visual arts school ranked as the fifth Most Creative Campus by Her Campus magazine. BusinessWeek also named it as one of the world’s best design schools.

Online Colleges in Detroit

Several of Detroit’s acclaimed colleges and universities provide online learning opportunities for those who cannot partake in the on-campus experience. Wayne State University offers an array of online options, including a bachelor’s degree in social work and master’s degree programs in education and library/information science. The school also offers an online MBA and a PhD in transitional physical therapy. Additional opportunities can be found at the University of Detroit Mercy, which provides 12 online degrees programs in topics such as business, engineering, and nursing. High school students seeking an early start on their college education can apply to Wayne County Community College, which has a Virtual Middle College program with dual enrollment offerings.

Tuition & Cost of Living in Michigan

When making a college budget, aspiring students in Michigan need to calculate the different types of expenses they may encounter. Tuition varies depending on the type of school and an applicant’s residency status. Annual tuition for Michigan residents averaged $12,322 in 2012, with the state ranking 22nd nationwide in terms of in-state tuition affordability.

While tuition represents a crucial factor in choosing a school, other costs figure into the equation as well. Students may discover fees for parking, on-campus transportation, and basic services such as registration. The combined tuition and fees for Michigan students totaled $12,478 in 2012.

After examining schools’ tuition and fees, well-organized students also estimate their living expenses and other costs related to college. Miscellaneous expenditures could include books, supplies, and a robust Internet connection for online coursework. Living costs in Michigan come in six percent below the national average. The following table depicts the cost of living (COL) for Michigan’s metropolitan areas, ranked in comparison to the national average (100%):

Urban Area Composite Index Housing Groceries Utilities Transportation Health Care Misc.
Grand Rapids -9.3% -22.4% 2.7% 0.6% 3.7% -5.6% -10.0%
Kalamazoo -8.8% -18.7% -4.4% 1.8% -0.6% -7.5% -7.6%
Detroit -0.6% -4.8% -7.3% 29.5% 1.3% -5.8% -3.4%

Accreditation Standards in Michigan

Before committing, Michigan students should inquire about a school’s accreditation status. Financial aid programs generally require colleges be accredited, meaning they meets official quality standards. In Michigan, institutions gain accreditation from bodies such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Colleges and universities in the state may also be accredited by various specialized agencies. For example, business and nursing programs can be accredited by associations with detailed knowledge of their respective fields. Institutions with distance learning opportunities have the option of seeking accreditation by the Distance Education and Training Council, a national body with concentration in online education.

Great Resources for Online Students in Michigan

Online students need resources at their fingertips for exploring Michigan’s student aid programs, tips for budgeting and saving for school, and preparing for their online education. The following in-state organizations provide free resources to assist students in planning for college and financing their education.