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The Pioneer

CSUEB online program among best in California

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

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More than 15 years after its inception, the Cal State East Bay online program nabbed some national rankings. In August, the website BestSchools.com ranked CSUEB the third best online college in California.

According to the website the criteria for a school making the list include: being an accredited school, offering at least one fully online bachelor’s program, non-profit and the schools disclose all curriculum and tuition information.

In May, the website rated the online hospitality management program at CSUEB the seventh best in the country. Melany Spielman, chair of the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism at CSUEB, developed the program.

Brandman University and California Baptist University ranked ahead of CSUEB on the list. Fellow CSU’s Chico and Dominguez Hills also ranked on the list at four and seven respectively. The website credited CSUEB’s rapid growth in recent years and future plans that include converting all online courses to the semester system as the primary reasons for their spot on the list. Many if not all of the current courses will have to be redesigned by faculty to meet the semester conversion requirements, which is a lot of work, according to Wen.

“Over the past five years our online enrollment has increased dramatically,” Roger Wen, Director of the CSUEB online campus said. “If you take a look at the other schools in the CSU system we are near the top in how many programs and options we offer.”

CSUEB currently offers five online bachelor’s degree programs in hospitality and tourism, business administration, ethnic studies, human development and recreation.  The other four programs offered are master’s programs in education, educational leadership, health care administration and recreation and tourism in addition to several options within those programs.

Stephen Andrews, the Marketing Manager for the College of Business and Economics at CSUEB told BestSchools.com that graduations from the program have doubled in the online hospitality management program and is hopeful more growth will happen once new options are added.

CSUEB has already offered an online accounting option for fall but is unclear when the other two options for marketing and human resources would be available.

Vish Hegdee is a CSUEB professor in the Department of Management for the College of Business and Economics and also instructs several online courses.

“The in-class experience is mainly defined by the interaction of the people in the class,” Hegdee said. “Collaborative activities and detailed discussion boards help create an environment where we know each other and a feeling that they are there in the classroom together. Discussions and interactions are the biggest part of classes that I try to do in the online classes as well.”

The in-class experience is mainly defined by the interaction of the people in the class,” Hegdee said. “Collaborative activities and detailed discussion boards help create an environment where we know each other and a feeling that they are there in the classroom together. Discussions and interactions are the biggest part of classes that I try to do in the online classes as well.

According to Wen, all online programs are overseen by the chair of the department however, some departments have named online learning coordinators who go into all of the classes and checks to make sure they meet the criteria for an online course, in addition to several other duties.

Wen is hopeful that the online experience can replicate the in-person experience as much as possible and be innovative in order to achieve that goal.

“Engagement between students and faculty is important in online classes,” Wen commented.

During in-person classes, students can raise their hand and have their questions answered instantly.

Wen says that they’re trying to create a similar experience through the online program. “We use tools that will provide a face to face interaction with the instructor online through video and streaming. Say students have a presentation or a project, they can utilize a tool to collaborate and upload videos and increase engagement with fellow students and staff that can provide an experience that is close the real thing,” he said.

We use tools that will provide a face to face interaction with the instructor online through video and streaming”

Wen also acknowledged that many CSUEB students work and the online course selection gives those students the opportunity to take classes their schedule would not allow them to.

He also debunked the myth that online classes will help students graduate faster as he noted that the courses still take the same amount of time to complete as the in-person versions.

“If it weren’t for online classes I would still be a freshman,” Environmental Science major Jessica Michel Ramirez said. “I have a son and I have to be free by a certain time to pick him up. This limits the time I have to take classes. But with online courses, I can login whenever I want and get to work. Some of my best work has come late at night when my son is sleeping, ” Ramirez added.

This fall quarter there will be 21 undergraduate and 10 graduate courses offered to CSUEB’s online degree students.

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California State University East Bay
CSUEB online program among best in California