Correction appended: Feb. 24, 2013.
Though the second-largest Penn State campus doesn’t have buildings to call its own, it has nearly 12,000 students enrolled, is turning 15 years old this year and ranks in the U.S. News and World Report.
In January, in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 Best Online Education Program Rankings, World Campus ranked in the top 25 for its undergraduate and graduate programs.
Additionally, World Campus was ranked in the top five for two programs. World Campus was ranked No. 2 for its online graduate engineering programs, and ranked No. 5 for its online graduate computer information technology programs.
With both undergraduate and graduate classes, World Campus offers about 90 programs for students.
The undergraduate programs encompass all of the most popular areas, including information sciences and technology, business, psychology, economics, political science, energy and sustainability, said Karen Pollack, director of Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Education for World Campus.
And World Campus continues to grow. It recently added a health, policy and administration program. Also, there are always about 15 programs in the development stage at any time, Pollack said.
World Campus caters to adult learners, students typically 24 or older, who are self-supporting or who have dependents, said Wayne Smutz, executive director of World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach.
The average age for undergraduate students is 32, and the average for graduate students is 35. Most students attend exclusively part time because of their other commitments, he said. In addition, he said, World Campus has had students enrolled in 54 different countries on all seven continents.
“I am incredibly pleased with the success of World Campus,” Smutz said.
And some students, like Laura Elder, said they could not find many complaints with World Campus.
“I think [World Campus] does a great job of keeping [students] in the loop and provide ways for students to be involved, such as their leadership seminars,” said Elder (graduate- business administration).
Smutz said online learning is becoming a more accepted way of earning a degree, and students can finish their degree wherever they are.
Also, Smutz said that as World Campus works to stay up to speed with new technological education, he thinks the university will see more technology use as well.
ANGEL’s recent reduction of its downtime from seven days a week between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern Time, to only two days a week will also be beneficial for World Campus students, Terry O’Heron, ANGEL program manager, wrote in an email.