With other course work, jobs and home lives, going to school can be difficult. In order to better help students, the criminal justice program created a completely online bachelor’s program.
According to the program website, the School of Public Services created this program “so busy students can finish their degree without sacrificing quality or affordability.”
Lynn Urban, chair of the school of public services, said the online bachelor’s program has been an option for students since around 2014. Urban said the master’s program, which is also offered online, was the “first totally online program offered for the university (in 2001).”
“This has always been a program that was very forward-thinking or made sure that it was flexible for people that are currently working, that non-traditional student,” Urban said. “We have those online students all over the world.”
According to the Guide to Online Schools, there are around 276 accredited online criminal justice programs. Success Student reports that the criminal justice focus is ranked second among the most popular bachelor’s degree programs nationwide.
The program allows students to take all of their required classes via the internet. Other requirements, such as general education and electives classes, are also offered online. Because of the need for these specific classes, online students are among the first to be allowed to sign up for classes during the enrollment period.
When discussing the demand of the program, Urban said the program is very popular, based on their high enrollment numbers.
“Those classes are consistently full all the time,” Urban said.
In order to break up the monotonous feeling that online classes can often bring students, the bachelor’s program also offers online classes that allow students to connect with one another using ITV (interactive streaming sessions) and Zoom technology.
“We have students sitting here in Warrensburg in a classroom, and we have students sitting up in Lee’s Summit in a classroom,” Urban said “The professor, one week they will be here in Warrensburg and the next week they will go up to Lee’s Summit for campus, so each set of students gets the chance to see the instructor.”
The program is set up so students will be able to interact with both each other and the professor via live streaming. This means that if one student asks a question in class, everyone streaming the classroom session will be able to hear the question and response.
“So it’s a little different, a little weird, but it’s much more interactive than just online and it gives students the opportunity to be in class and talk with other people,” Urban said.
UCM currently has a total of 57 online degree programs for students to choose from ranging from strictly online degrees to hybrid classes. Criminal justice has three different online degrees available to students.