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University Of Florida's New Online School To Open In January

Jimmy Wayne

The University of Florida’s online classes will open for business in January. The online school was created by the Florida Legislature earlier in the year. It’s part of a larger statewide trend toward online education for the state’s schools.

The state has put a larger focus on online education in recent years, and programs have sprung up at many colleges and universities. But outgoing university chancellor Frank Brogan says there’s a lot of work to do to ensure those programs are efficient and high-quality:

“We needed to, on the other track, try to run effort to better coordinate and collaborate access and affordability and quality of all of our online educational programming opportunities at any of our institutions in the state university system, college system, etc," Brogan said.

The Board of Governors wants the University of Florida’s online school to serve as a sort of laboratory for developing online programs at other schools.

UF Associate Provost Andy McCollough told the board the programs offered online will be cheaper than the current in-state tuition rate.

“Under current tuition levels, it’s about $112 per credit hour. Out-of-state tuition, we will be allowed to look at market rate. Market rate, as we look across our peers, currently vary between $400-500 [dollars] per credit hour.”

The school will initially offer bachelor’s degrees in five majors and grow that to 35 by 2019.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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