Driven by recent organizational changes and significant investments in people, systems, and technologies, Fort Hays State University’s Virtual College is now officially Fort Hays State University Online.
“The term ‘virtual’ has served the university well over the last 20 years,” said Dr. Dennis King, associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. “The launch of FHSU Online demonstrates the university’s strong commitment to enhancing what we believe is already the best value in online education – anywhere.”
Unmatched affordability and quality are key contributors to the tremendous growth of online education at Fort Hays State for over a decade. Tuition at FHSU is among the lowest 1 percent in the nation. The university also ranks among the top 1 percent of award winners in online education in the nation.
Fort Hays State is also one of only six universities in the world to earn rigorous United States Distance Learning Association accreditation for its online programs. FHSU Online plans to expand its slate of course offerings with a new undergraduate history program and a graduate degree program in computer science scheduled to launch this fall.
With more than 200 degree and certificate programs, FHSU Online is the largest online school in the Kansas Board of Regents system.
The name change recognizes and encompasses the tremendous growth and development in every aspect of the university’s online student experience. Recent initiatives offer tremendous opportunities for online students to enjoy a more comprehensive experience, including the Online Student Senate, free tutoring services, study abroad opportunities, and several online student clubs.
For 13 consecutive years, FHSU has won national awards for its service to military students. The university was also named a top-five university in the nation for adult learners by Washington Monthly Magazine.
Transfer students, military service members, and veterans are a rapidly growing segment of the university’s overall student population, and a new Transfer and Military Center will open this summer as part of the new FHSU Online to support the increasing numbers of non-traditional students coming to FHSU.
Education at a distance at Fort Hays State began in 1911 with course work offered by mail. That program was extremely successful and grew year by year, developing new techniques and adopting new technology as it became available.
The Correspondence Department continuously evolved in operation and name until, in 1977, the university created the Division of Continuing Education, which became the Virtual College in 1997. The first online courses were offered in 1998 and the first full degree programs started in 1999 when Fort Hays State had 906 online students.
Last fall, the university’s online enrollment was more than 7,000 students from all over the globe.