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The online Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology degree is a unique program that prepares students to be leaders in merging technology with learning.

“This program consists of a unique collaborative curriculum between the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Computer Science Department, offering a meaningful blend of technical application and instructional theory,” says Marilyn Rice, Ph.D., doctoral director of the Doctorate in Instructional Technology program.

Faculty in the Instructional Technology program have been pioneers in the online teaching and learning environment, having taught elements of courses online dating back to 1999.

shutterstock_154665698“The program follows the cohort model, where students move through the coursework together,” says Rice. “Having used this approach for many years in other programs, we find that the cohorts help develop an atmosphere of a cohesive classroom culture even though all courses are online.”

By completing the program entirely online, students are able to pursue their degree without the having to relocate due to the restrictions of residency requirements

Dr. Rice says the experience and enthusiasm of online learning is evident in the Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology program, utilizing a variety of online learning resources.

“We’ve found the communication and collaboration opportunities among people from various walks of life and cultures provides a secondary level of learning for our students that is not attainable in most face-to-face programs,” says Rice.

Graduates of the program are poised for success in a variety of applications, such as leaders of instructional technology, guiding their organizations toward achieving meaningful integration of technology, or as instructional technology leaders working in school districts, community colleges, universities, or businesses in support and service roles regarding instructional design, assessment of learning/management systems, networking, and assessment/implementation of instructional software.

Applications for the program are due June 1.

For more information about the online Doctorate of Education in Instructional Technology degree visit http://distance.shsu.edu.

shutterstock_194704859Although online education has gained significant popularity in recent years, the processes of obtaining a degree online as opposed to taking classes on campus still raises doubts for many.

However, a recent white paper from Learning House and Aslanian Market Research, titled “Equal Opportunity in Higher Education: Understanding Rigor and Engagement Across Learning Modalities,” found that there are strong similarities between the quality of on-campus and online courses:

  • Online students write and read as much as traditional students
  • Faculty members for online courses provide the same amount of feedback as faculty in traditional classrooms, and possibly more quickly

The report, combining data from a survey conducted by the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) as well as Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences (OCS), obtained results from more than 500 institutions nationwide and 27 in Canada, and 1,500 individuals nationwide, respectively.

Through comparing the results of the NSSE and OCS surveys, it was found that across nearly all the questions examined, there were little to no significant statistical differences in academic rigor or faculty engagement between the groups. However, there were some directional trends and conclusions that did emerge, including:

  • Online students are writing just as much as, and possibly more than, NSSE students.
  • Online students are preparing just as much as NSSE students, but may be spending more of this preparation time reading.
  • Online students report feeling less challenged by their online coursework
— perhaps due to their age and life experiences they bring into the classroom.
  • Online faculty are providing the same amount of feedback, but may be doing so more quickly.

Our student stories speak for themselves, but SHSU Online is dedicated to providing modern technological applications and support to the university’s award-winning distance education programs. Visit our Awards and Recognitions page to see how SHSU Online stacks up against academic institutions across the nation.

SHSU offers more than 35 fully online degree programs, including two doctoral programs, as well as 24 online certificate programs. For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

IMG_6944To say that the online MA in History has national appeal would be an understatement. This past spring, the program attracted students from all four corners of the country, and from as far away as the Hawaiian Islands. In fact, students in 19 of the 50 states were enrolled in courses 100% online.

So what exactly is drawing students from Maine to California and beyond to SHSU in such numbers? The answer is likely related to quality, value, and a commitment to embrace the online environment.

Delivering a quality online program has always been paramount to the History Department, and they are about to raise the bar even higher by adding three new professors to their ranks—all with PhDs—from the University of Chicago, Oxford, and Yale. With the online program already taught entirely by full-time faculty holding PhDs, the addition will bring even more depth to the roster.

Further, the program is a great value for online students. In 2013, Sam Houston State University was named one of the nation’s most affordable online colleges. AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranks SHSU as the most affordable online university in Texas, and the fourth most affordable in the nation.

Among the first fully online programs at SHSU, the department continues to embrace the online environment developing quality content, video, and innovative projects. One example of this is a new mobile app the department hopes to develop next year. The mobile app would allow users to conveniently browse historic East Texas sites using their smart phones and would give SHSU’s online history students the opportunity to write and publish their own original descriptions for hundreds of historic sites around the region. It’s the kind of involvement that not only helps students learn about history, but also provides them with something to add to their resume that sets them apart from the crowd.

As long as the opportunities for online students continue to grow, you can expect the online MA in History program to do the same in both its size and its national reach.

For more information about the online MA in History degree, visit distance.shsu.edu.

Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice has been an innovator in criminal justice education since 1963, and their online BA in Criminal Justice and online BS in Criminal Justice degrees offer students the convenience of an online program with the prestige that accompanies a degree from SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice.

The college takes great strides to ensure the online BA in Criminal Justice and online BS in Criminal Justice degrees provide students with the same quality education and professional benefits students attending class on campus receive.

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Kathy Latz, Clinical Assistant Professor

“Our online degree programs provide students with the same quality of instruction as our brick and mortar campuses,” says Dr. Kathy Latz, clinical assistant professor in the Masters of Victim Services Management program. “Distance learning is ideal for non-traditional students, including working professionals interested in pursuing a new career in the comfort of their own homes and at times that accommodate their busy schedules.”

Whereas the online BA in Criminal Justice and online BS in Criminal Justice degrees host the same core curriculum, the difference in degree specific requirements are catered to the student’s interests. The online BA in Criminal Justice degree requires 14 hours of foreign language hours, while the online BS in Criminal Justice degree requires specific tracks in philosophy and psychology.

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David C. Pyrooz, Assistant Professor

David C. Pyrooz, Ph.D, assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, says online courses also provide students with the ability to cater to their learning strengths.

“One of the best features of online courses is flexibility—whether I am teaching criminological theory, research methods, or my special topics, gangs, I ensure students can advance at their own pace,” he says. “This is important for students because they learn concepts, read the materials, and take tests at different speeds.”

Pyrooz says his online students are able to receive a quality education within their time constraints and at their own pace, allowing for an enjoyable learning experience.

“Such flexibility is not possible in the classroom, which is the primary difference between the courses I teach in person and the courses I teach online,” he says. “Regardless of the devices students use to complete their assignments, or the location where students complete their assignments, this flexibility is advantageous to students to create a positive learning environment.”

Visit http://distance.shsu.edu to find out more about their online BA in Criminal Justice and online BS in Criminal Justice degrees offered through SHSU Online, and see how you can get started today!

For the third consecutive year, Sam Houston State University has earned national recognition in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs.

Of the four programs SHSU submitted for review in the 2014 report, three of SHSU’s online programs received a ranking in the top 20 percent in the nation and one program garnered a national ranking in the top ten.

SHSU-Online-2014-US-News-World-Report-Grid

The overall rankings placed SHSU No. 7 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs” and also earned a No. 1 national ranking in the “Student Engagement” indicator for the category.

SHSU also received national recognition with a ranking of No. 20 among “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” No. 41 among “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs,” and No. 43 among “Best
Online Graduate Business Programs.”

The rankings effectively garnered SHSU in the top 10 percent in “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” top 19 percent in “Best Online Graduate Business Programs,” and top 15 percent in “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”

“SHSU Online is fortunate to work with our esteemed faculty, and we are dedicated to providing students with quality and convenient online learning options,” says Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning. “We view the results from the 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings as evidence that we are succeeding in our goals, and we will continue to work hard to further improve our services and assistance to students.”

In “Student Services and Technology,” an indicator used to determine schools’ overall rankings, SHSU ranked as high as No. 4, and no lower than No. 25 nationally, among all schools.

U.S. News & World Report rates the incorporation of “Student Services and Technology” indicator through the use of both diverse online learning technologies that allow greater flexibility for students to take classes and labs from a distance and a strong support structure providing learning assistance, career guidance, and financial aid resources comparable to campus-based programs.

SHSU Online’s service plays a key role in the university’s placement regarding the “Student Services and Technology” indicator by providing student support and highly accessible technologies and services and strong support to its students.

Moreover, in “Student Engagement,” the primary indicator encompassing 30 percent of the school’s score, in addition to SHSU’s No. 1 national ranking in “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” the university earned a No. 21 national ranking in “Best Online Graduate Education Programs” and No. 28 national ranking in “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.”

U.S. News & World Report rates the “Student Engagement” indicator as programs that promote quality participation in courses and allow students opportunities to both readily interact with their instructors and fellow classmates similarly to a campus-based setting and to complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

In addition to three online undergraduate degree programs, SHSU offers 24 graduate degree programs, including one doctoral program and one special program for members of the U.S. military, as well as 22 online certificate programs. For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

A complete listing of the U.S. News and World Report online rankings can be found at http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/sam-houston-state-university-227881.

SHSU-Online-2014-US-News-World-Report

The percentage of students enrolled in online classes increased dramatically this fall as SHSU continued to offer more online undergraduate and graduate courses to meet the demands of record enrollment and student preferences.

In fact, 12 percent of SHSU students are taking 100 percent of their classes online this fall. In addition, the number of 100 percent online students increased 55 percent for undergraduate students and 20 percent for graduate students over fall 2012.

“SHSU Online responds quickly to emerging student needs for online degree programs and courses,” said Associate Vice President for Distance Learning Bill Angrove.

“The number of degrees available online has been steadily increasing over the past four years. At present, the university offers 25 degree programs completely online. They include three undergraduate degrees, 22 master’s degrees, one doctoral degree, and almost two dozen graduate and professional certificates,” he said.

In addition to providing high-quality, convenient, and affordable online courses to students in Texas, SHSU is increasing its presence nationwide as a recognized name in online education. This fall the total number of fully online students reached 2,303, with students spread across 38 states.

“Students are choosing SHSU online programs and courses for a number of good reasons,” Angrove said. “Our online courses are taught by outstanding full-time faculty members committed to excellence in teaching and their commitment is complemented by interactive courses designed with a high quality look and feel that is consistent throughout a degree program.

“SHSU Online provides outstanding technical support to students and faculty which improves the online educational experience,” he said. “The combination of outstanding faculty, intellectual rigor, quality course design, and exceptional technology support makes SHSU’s online courses an outstanding value for undergraduate and graduate students alike.”

SHSU Online’s focus on quality and value in online education has not gone unnoticed. Once again this year, as in years past, the university achieved high results in US News & World Report’s rankings of online education programs. In addition, AffordableCollegesOnline.org ranked SHSU the most affordable online university in Texas, and the fourth most affordable in the nation in its “Most Affordable Online Colleges” report.

SHSU also ranks in the top 25 in the Guide to Online Schools’ 2013 Online College Rankings. In addition, the university has been honored, for the second year in a row, as a “Military Friendly School,” a recognition of its status among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools that are doing the most to help U.S. military service members, their spouses and veterans as students.

“Attention to quality and excellence in course development and technology support helps explain why student participation in online courses offered by SHSU continues to grow,” Angrove said. “Also, SHSU has committed to optimizing the university’s website for search engines and providing improved usability for prospective students. This commitment should help SHSU Online to see even greater growth in the future.”

Read the article at Today @ Sam!

Sam Houston State University received recognition as having another banner year in quality online education, collectively receiving five national awards throughout 2013 for online educational programs.

SHSU-USNews-Badges

In January, SHSU received continued praise in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs from nearly 700 schools across the country.  SHSU’s Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security earned a national ranking of No. 2 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” and received acknowledgment in three additional categories:

In one of the indicators used in determining schools’ overall rankings, “Student Services and Technology,” SHSU performed especially well. In the case of all the categories reported above, SHSU ranked as high as No. 6, and no lower than No. 23, among all schools.

affordable-online-colleges

In July, a new, non-profit site, Affordable Colleges Online, ranked SHSU fourth in the nation in the sites “54 Most Affordable Online Colleges” report.

According to their site, Affordable Colleges Online set out to rank the top 54 colleges who provided students the most affordable online programs combined with successful placement at high-paying jobs upon graduation.

To determine their rankings, Affordable Colleges Online analyzed current and comprehensive national data sets from the most reputable sources. These sources include National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and The Carnegie Foundation.

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To finish the year, GetEducated.com, a consumer group that publishes online college rankings and online university ratings based on affordability and credibility, ranked SHSU’s Master of Science in Information Assurance and Security #20 among all competing options nationwide.

The site, founded in 1989, established their “Best Buy” ranking on a national survey of 77 regionally accredited universities that offer 115 different online master’s degrees in computer science and IT. The survey covered a wide range of computer science majors, including information systems, database mining, information assurance and technical communication. The rankings highlight the 45 best affordable online degrees in this field.

Congratulations to SHSU faculty and the staff at SHSU Online for their hard work and commitment to quality online education.

SHSU Online Ranked Top Amongst Online Programs (via US News & World Reports)

Sam Houston State University has again achieved high marks in US News & World Report’s annual rankings of online education programs.

Sam Houston State University’s online programs, evaluated along with nearly 700 schools across the country, ranked among the best in four categories, placing SHSU No. 2 among “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs,” No. 37 among “Best Online Graduate Education Programs,” and No. 102 among “Best Online Graduate Business Programs.” The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program was ranked No. 69 in “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”

In one of the indicators used in determining schools’ overall rankings, “Student Services and Technology,” SHSU performed especially well. In the case of all the categories reported above, SHSU ranked as high as No. 6, and no lower than No. 23, among all schools.

The “Student Services and Technology” indicator, according to US News & World Report, reflects a school’s performance in these terms: “A program that incorporates diverse online learning technologies allows greater ability for students to participate in classes and labs from a distance.”

SHSU Online’s service is an important contributor to the university’s showing in terms of the “Student Services and Technology” indicator, helping to provide highly accessible technologies and services and strong support to its students.

“SHSU’s overall performance in the US News & World Report 2013 rankings reflects the high caliber of our faculty and the commitment of SHSU Online to furnish our students with the most reliable, user-friendly, and responsive distance-learning technologies available,” said Bill Angrove, associate vice president for distance learning.

“SHSU Online is grateful for this recognition and is determined to continue improving service to our students and the entire SHSU community,” he said.

In addition to three online undergraduate degree programs, SHSU offers 24 graduate degree programs, including one doctoral program and one special program for members of the U.S. military, as well as 22 online certificate programs.

A complete listing of the U.S. News and World Report online rankings can be found at US News & World Reports online education programs overview.

For more information on any of SHSU’s online programs, visit distance.shsu.edu.

Living room in SHSU Online's gamingSHSU Online‘s Instructional Multimedia Group works with faculty to provide students with personalized and contextualized online learning experiences through the use of interactive gaming.

Using gaming technology such as Unity and Photon Cloud, a 3D game engine and server, and Second Life, a virtual world where thousands of users interact with players across the world, the group collaborates with faculty members to create instructional multimedia, immersive environments, and simulation models for their online courses.

Jennie Powers, graphics coordinator for the SHSU Online Instructional Multimedia Group, says the fusion of a complex technological landscape and a strong online culture created an opportunity for educators to cater to students in a familiar setting.

“We are beginning to use online gaming technology as a vehicle for collaborative activities, as well as for reflective exercises, ” she says. “We construct each educational game or simulation to meet learning objectives outlined by professors who are seeking innovative methods to provide their online students with interactive experiences comparable to the activities of face-to-face students.”  Continue Reading…


SHSU Online
recognizes individual student needs in distance learning environments and is committed to providing a variety of distance learning options.

Our online degree programs, which utilize the Blackboard Learn system, include a range of disciplines that prepare students for rewarding careers. Correspondence courses, online teacher certification, and continuing education programs are available, in addition to the below degrees.

  • Online bachelor’s degree programs
  • Online master’s degree programs
  • Online doctoral degree programs

With programs ranging from criminal justice to business, education to technology, and history to instructional leadership and technology, SHSU’s online programs cater to a diverse group of disciplines that can lead to exciting professional opportunities.

SHSU Online continues to add courses annually while providing expert technical support via email or phone six days a week.

Online correspondence courses offer another opportunity to earn college credit without stepping inside a classroom. Students can learn at their own pace and chose the times and locations to study. This service is highly beneficial to everyone from individuals continuing their college education, teachers seeking certification or additional study in their fields, or anyone wishing to broaden their education. Unless specified, each correspondence course is equivalent to three hours of college credit and includes a comparable workload.

Finally, SHSU Continuing Education offers courses and condensed studies on campus and online through partners such as ed2go, 360training.com, and The Center for Legal Studies. Below are some of the correspondence courses available.

    • Standardized test preparations
    • Business strategy for particular industries
    • Hobbies and creative fields

Courses are designed to meet individual learning goals, which can enhance opportunities for career progression, help achieve a lifestyle change, or share a learning experience with others.

SHSU staff members are ready to help by answering any questions or providing additional information and advice to help choose a class.

Students now have the ability to earn an online Bachelor of Business Administration degree in General Business Administration via SHSU Online!

The degree was formally adopted following a recent approval at the Texas State University System Board of Regents meeting.

The SHSU Online catalog now includes 26 degrees and 21 certificates that can be completed entirely online.

Come see what SHSU Online can offer you!

No matter the time, date, or location, SHSU Online offers students the ability to pursue their educational goals through the College of Criminal Justice.

Tess Johnson, marketing coordinator for the College of Criminal Justice, says the college has put an emphasis on the quality of their online degree programs with the support of their nationally recognized faculty.

“I think our courses are very interactive, and our faculty is comprised of professionals who are experts in their field and bring a great deal of real-world experience,” she says.  “The courses are dynamic, and we have faculty who provide lectures and videos into the online classroom and make the most of technology.” Continue Reading…

Finishing what you start is important to many people, and Katie Halbert is no exception. Katie began her college education 10 years ago when she graduated from high school and will be receiving her Bachelor of Business Administration and General Business degree in August, 2012.

One thing that helped her realize this dream was being able to take online classes. “Being able to take online classes really helped,” Katie said. “At the time I was looking for a new job and I could take online classes from anywhere.” She partially credits the flexibility of online courses for her success.

Like many non-traditional students, Katie had family obligations to balance with her studies. Katie got married six years ago and recently had a daughter, Molly. Her family has also moved several times.  Continue reading