The 2015 Survey of Online Learning, Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States, conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group in partnership with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson, WCET, StudyPortals, and Tyton Partners, reveals the number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course in 2015 is up 3.9% over the previous year. Growth, however, was uneven; private non-profit institutions grew by 11.3% while private for-profit institutions saw their distance enrollments decline by 2.8%.
“The study’s findings highlight a thirteenth consecutive year of growth in the number of students taking courses at a distance” said study co-author I. Elaine Allen, co-director of the Babson Survey Research Group.
Growth has continued, despite muted support by faculty. The study reveals only 29.1% of academic leaders say their faculty accept the “value and legitimacy of online education.” The proportion of chief academic leaders reporting online learning is critical to their long-term strategy dropped to 63.3% in the most recent results.