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Going Green: University’s Curriculum Online vs. On Campus

Going green can mean many different things. One great way for students to go green is to go to classes online. Not only do online classes not waste as much paper as regular classes, the students also do not have to drive back and forth to school, reducing their carbon emissions. Also, the energy use from heating and cooling classrooms is reduced when students have the option of learning from home.

Online schools are much better for the environment than traditional ones, but are you sacrificing quality when you take classes online? With all the new online programs popping up, it is hard to tell which ones are for real and which ones are just diploma mills. Picking an online school that is connected to a brick-and-mortar school is a safe way to go. But how does the curriculum compare?

Arizona State University is one of the many schools that offer both online and on campus curriculum. “Arizona State University (ASU or Arizona State) is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona. With an enrollment of 70,440 students in the Fall of 2010, it is the largest public university in the United States by enrollment.

Founded in 1885 as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory, the school came under the control of the Arizona Board of Regents in 1945 and was renamed Arizona State College. A 1958 statewide ballot measure gave the university its present name.

ASU offers programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, journalism, business, law, nursing, and public policy. The university is broadly organized into 14 divisions and is spread across four campuses: the original Tempe campus, the West campus in northwest Phoenix, the Polytechnic campus in eastern Mesa, and the Downtown Phoenix campus. All four campuses are accredited as a single institution by the Higher Learning Commission.”

Comparatively speaking, ASU offers more than 30 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through a completely online program, known as ASU Online. The degree programs distributed online have the same accreditation as the university’s traditional on campus programs, and students can receive many of the same degrees as those who attended courses in person. According to ASU Online’s website, as of Spring 2010, more than 3,000 students were enrolled online. ASU Online is headquartered at ASU’s Skysong campus in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The curriculum is identical, just as rigorous and well-calibrated as the on campus curriculum. New technologies, such as online video conferencing and cooperative chartrooms allow teachers and students to interact in real time. Online students also have the advantage of being able to complete their work when they have the time, even in the middle of the night. Discussions are recorded and kept so that no one is left out of the loop. In many ways, there is more teacher-student interaction online. Additionally, online classes allow for more students to enroll per class, thus keeping tuition low.

Some exceptions to this would be sports-related fields, music or visual arts, and classes that require expensive tools or technologies. Classes like chemistry or biology have cooperative labs that must take place and activities that must be performed on campus. Online is not the be all and end all of education, but it can work well for most students and classes. By keeping tuition low, more people can afford a good education, and the flexible hours online allow student work and go to school.

The advantages of online classes are many and varied, but the curriculum is identical to the on campus classrooms. As more traditional universities offer completely online programs, it is easy to see the advantages. If you are an environmentally conscious structured learner and want flexibility in your education, online is definitely the way to go.

This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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