Online Degree Programs in Washington

The state of Washington possesses 57 four-year universities and colleges, as well as 74 technical and community colleges. The Washington Student Achievement Council is the board responsible for monitoring postsecondary institutions in the state. It works to ensure the overall accessibility and affordability of higher education, as well as the success of students in higher education programs. Perhaps one of the most notable schools in the state is Whitman College, which is ranked as the No. 43 best liberal arts college in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Whitman was founded in 1883 and the university’s noteworthy alumni include Adam West and John Markoff.

Some of the state’s largest colleges are the University of Washington and Washington State University. The University of Washington was founded in 1861 and is located in Seattle, Wash. It is ranked No. 46 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and boasts famous alumni like MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe. Washington State University, on the other hand, was founded in 1890 and is located in Pullman, Wash. It is ranked No. 125 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

In 2011, the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board released an update on its HECB Strategic Master Plan. The goals of the plan included, among others, to support higher education financially. One of the strategies employed to meet this goal is to further develop distance learning as well as the technology and facilities necessary for its operation. According to the report, distance learning will aid the state in not only creating more accessible higher education, but will increase the success rate of postsecondary students. This is because accredited online degree programs and courses offer not only convenience and flexibility to students, but also a chance for those who live in rural areas to gain a college education.

Washington Distance Learning Initiatives

In addition to improving the state’s distance education options, Washington is one of 15 participants in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Learning (WICHE). This commission is a conglomeration of western states that act to improve accessibility, quality, and variety in higher education. Washington is one of WICHE’s Internet Course Exchange (ICE) initiative participants. The initiative was created to compensate for the downturn of the economy, which led to many postsecondary schools cutting or limiting their online college degree programs. ICE allows students at participating universities to take online courses through other participating universities or university systems. Overall, it gives students the opportunity to take courses they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

Schools with online degree programs in Washington are common. For instance, state university online degree programs are offered by Washington State University’s Global Campus. Through this online resource, students have access to online bachelors degree programs as well as online masters degree programs in areas like accounting and sports management. The University of Washington also offers online graduate degree programs and undergraduate programs through its Continuing Education Across UW program. Discipline areas range from business to law to the arts.