Center for Online Education Launches to Provide Academic Perspective on Online Colleges

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Expert advice and monthly updates highlight commitment to digging below the surface of online higher education

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After years of experience guiding students toward success in online education, has relaunched as the Center for Online Education (COE). The new name formally establishes COE’s transition into a holistic resource for online college students. Online education instructor and expert Melissa Venable, PhD will lead the team of subject matter experts behind the COE to help the next generation of online students look for schools, find affordable tuition, and use their degree to launch a rewarding professional career.

In a field once dominated by for-profit institutions, distance education programs are now available in some capacity at most large public and private universities around the United States. The latest Babson Study on online education saw online learning grow 11.3% at private nonprofit institutions, while declining 2.8% at for-profits. In addition, public institutions now command the largest share of distance students: 72% of online undergraduates attend a public university.

As new opportunities and technologies help more students pursue a degree outside of the traditional campus, finding the right program has become more nuanced and difficult than ever. The Center for Online Education aims to help students by providing college rankings, guides to popular online subjects and degrees, and resources covering everything from financial aid opportunities to technology assistance.

The Center for Online Education is unique in being a one-stop resource for aspiring online college students, containing everything students need to evaluate accredited online colleges. “In online education, best practices change quickly,” Venable says. “It’s our job to stay ahead of the curve on the latest trends in online education so that we can best assist students.” The site provides students with crucial, impartial information, including rankings by program and by state, alongside a national best online colleges ranking. The COE team is also committed to helping students save on their education costs, taking a similarly dynamic approach to financial aid guides and resources designed to help students succeed in an online format.

Students often don’t know what to expect in an online class. For that reason, it’s imperative for the COE to help students transition however they can. Many of the tips and resources are designed to help students not only find the right program, but to assimilate once they’re in school. There are resources about finding accredited online colleges, finding an LGTBQ-friendly school, and how to succeed in an online class format. Over the next year, Venable and her staff will be exploring all dimensions of the online learning experience, with plans to launch an online student demographics report based on data from hundreds of thousands of individuals. This analysis will inform the development of a vibrant website to help students overcome any obstacle they might face in school.


About the Center for Online Education: Powered by a collection of online educators and experts, the Center for Online Education provides informed, research-based guides for students pursuing college degrees online. Originally launched in 2009, the Center for Online Education is proud to bring a fresh, dedicated team to energize and revitalize the resources, rankings and original research of the site. Learn more at

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