January 11, 2009
Thinking of going back to school, but can’t find the time?
Are you unable to meet the time restrictions of on-campus learning?
The answer—Distance Learning—has only one prerequisite: must have
Lauren of Seattle, Washington, who enrolled in the Bachelor of
Science in Criminal Justice degree program, credits St. John’s
University for her return to school. “After years of juggling
both work and school, I am now able to attend classes at times that
are convenient for my schedule. I don’t think I would have been
able to complete my degree and work if I had stayed at my previous
university,” she says.
Online course management software turns your laptop or desktop
computer into a virtual classroom, where you login daily to study
texts and online resources, and complete course assignments and
exams, while engaging with fellow online students and faculty
through threaded discussions and virtual classroom chats at times
and places that are convenient for your schedule.
Lauren plans on graduating in Summer 2009, and will be the first
grandchild in her family to complete an undergraduate education.
“Having a college degree opens up many doors and opportunities that
would otherwise not be available if I only had a high school
diploma, she notes.”
Online education has advanced from a trend to an academically
savvy and creative means of obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s
degree without ever stepping foot inside a classroom. St.
John’s Distance Learning program offers new and returning students
the ability to manage life’s responsibilities and pursue their
education with just one click of the mouse.
Whether students reside in New York or around the world,
distance learning provides individuals who are unable to attend a
traditional classroom setting a means of obtaining an undergraduate
or graduate degree.
“This program is essential for many working non-traditional-age
students,” explains Elizabeth Alexander, Assistant Director of
Online Learning and Services. “However, the program does not
exclude students enrolled in study aboard programs, or those who
seek to supplement their campus curriculum with on-line
“An online education is fundamentally transforming the face of
education,” says Jeffery E. Olson, Ph.D., J.D., Associate Provost
and Director of Library and Information Science at St. John’s. “The
computer provides a way to interact with other students on a global
level and access to resources at all times. The internet creates an
effective means of communication for faculty and students both
domestic and abroad.”
Since its inception in 2000, the Distance Learning program has
helped the University remain technologically competitive by
offering all students the same access to resources online,
including access to all library resources, IT and lab support,
financial aid and registration services—so can register for
classes or pay bill online.
Distance learning students are also eligible for St. John’s
laptop program, which provides all new full-time undergraduate
students with a free laptop and supported software. “Technology is
a key resource and we must use it as such,” saysAlexander. “We can
capitalize on the tools we already have—it is not a substitute but
the future of enhanced higher-learning.”
Distance Learning offers the same curriculum, faculty, academic
calendar, career counseling and academic advisement as on-campus
learning. In addition online students have access to the University
web portal, St. John’s Central, and a new email system, Live@edu, to obtain assignments and
interact with professors and other students on a daily basis.
St. John’s Central is also an updated source of University news and
According to Dr. Olson, St. John’s distance learning programs
are all accredited, with over 70 percent of online classes taught
by full-time faculty. A mandatory six-week pedagogy workshop is
required for faculty members. Students are a part of a small online
community that permits greater collaboration.
“Through technology, society is moving online but for the last
100 years, students cycled between the classroom and homework, took
a mid-term and a final exam and perhaps completed a term paper,”
Dr. Olson explains. “ Now courses can be designed to permit
students to do whatever will provide the most valuable educational
“Online education can offer a comparative perspective that is
invaluable,” he continues. “The internet can enhance classroom
interaction in many ways between students and faculty both domestic
Accredited Online Programs
There are four graduate degree programs are available online: the
School of Education’s School Building Leader Master’s Degree, the
School District Leader Professional Diploma, and the M.S. in
Teaching Children with Disabilities in Childhood Education. The
M.A. in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Global Development and
Social Justice is offered by St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and
St. John’s also offers six undergraduate programs online : A.A.
in Liberal Studies; A.S. in Business; A.S. in Criminal Justice;
B.A. in Liberal Studies; B.S. in Administrative Studies; and B.S.
in Criminal Justice, all in the College of Professional