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Originally published: 2014-01-28 14:59:35
Last modified: 2014-01-28 15:00:21

Lees-McRae College ranked No. 6 for affordable online degree programs

 In December 2013, AffordableCollegesOnline.org analyzed online degree programs from more than 2,000 accredited colleges and universities across the nation. 

Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk ranked No. 6 out of 30 for affordability in North Carolina, with a list including top institutions such as Duke University, East Carolina University, Campbell University and many others.

"At Lees-McRae College we are dedicated to providing superior education at an inexpensive cost," said Bo Bennett, vice president for extended campus and online learning. "Being the only private institution in the Top 10 is a huge honor and a testament to our commitment to and determination for making higher education affordable and attainable for everyone. I believe this acknowledgement will appeal to a wide base of potential students that have a desire to attend a private institution, but believe it is unobtainable due to cost."

As of spring 2014, Lees-McRae will offer two online learning programs, with another proposed to begin in fall 2014. 

Online students now account for 6 percent of total Lees-McRae enrollment and 21 percent of off-site enrollment, as of January 2014.

The inaugural online program, RN to BSN, welcomed its first cohort in fall 2013. The modular-based nursing curriculum is for registered nurses who are ready to pursue completion of their bachelor of science degree in nursing.

The second program, Criminal Justice, which debuted in spring 2014, enables community college graduates with an associate of applied science in criminal justice, or a related field, to continue their education and advance their career with the completion of a BAAS (bachelor of applied arts and sciences).

Proposed to begin in fall 2014, the third addition to Lees-McRae's online offerings, Human Services, will build upon associate's level coursework, leading to a four-year bachelor of science degree. The program will prepare students for careers in various agencies and programs providing direct services to individuals, families or communities.

In addition to online programs, in recent years, Lees-McRae has strengthened its off-site programs to include partnerships with three community colleges -- Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine,  Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton  and Surry Community College in Dobson.The three community college sites offer seated and hybrid programs ranging from elementary education to criminal justice and many options in between.

 For more information about online learning at Lees-McRae, contact Bo Bennett, vice president of extended campus and online learning, at (bennettb@lmc.edu) or (828) 898-8747.