Troy ranked among most affordable in Online classes

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, July 18, 2013

Written by Kelsey Vickers, intern with The Messenger

Troy University’s online program has been ranked as one of the country’s top 15 most affordable online education programs.

The ranking, listed on Affordable Colleges Online, lists the 54 colleges or universities with the most affordable tuition for their online programs. Troy came in at number 14.

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Dr. Lance Tatum, Vice-Chancellor of the university’s Global Campus, said the difference with Troy’s program has more to do with quality than anything else.

“We’d like to think that the quality of our programs and the attention we give to students enrolled in our program is what sets us apart,” he shared.

“Every college has qualified faculty that they employ, and when it comes down to students making decisions about where they want to go, they look at the reputation of the institution, the amount of time it will take, and how much it will cost them.”

Tatum said the university has more than 125 years of tradition and experience in educating citizens of Alabama. “We’re not a newly-formed conglomerate,” he pointed out.

He said Troy is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which he believes gives Troy University the upper hand.

“It gives us a great deal of esteem in the marketplace,” he said. “Our regional accreditation says to the rest of the country that we have met the minimum level of expectation of quality. It’s extremely important in building upon the reputation that Troy has.”

Tatum said the university has specialized accreditation in a number of programs, which he believes adds to the quality of the programs.

“Our full-time faculty teaches online as well as in the classroom, so that students aren’t being taught by a bunch of part-time individuals who aren’t invested in the university,” he said.

Tatum said the faculty members teaching online courses are fully-trained and even go through an orientation program before they teach online.

“We have an administration that wholeheartedly supports online education,” he said. “We can give a quality product while helping students stretch the educational dollar.

Tatum also said having a brick and mortar institution benefits the online program.

“Because we have an athletics program, Greek organizations, band… Having a traditional campus gives us a level of credibility,” he said.

“You can actually come to Troy, Ala. and see the campus for yourself.”

Tatum said online and in-class courses each have their benefits, but with online courses, there are more options for students.

“There are two things students like about the online program,” he said. “Accessibility and flexibility. If you’re a working adult and you’re place-bound, being able to get through a program without leaving your home is great.”

Tatum also pointed out the high number of students who often enroll in both types of courses at the same time.

“The online program is a priority for the university,” he said. “We resource in a way that gives us the greatest opportunity to be successful.”