INA, Ill. – Rend Lake College students are devouring online opportunities as college officials have increased offerings and work to fill demand further.
Online credit hour enrollment is up 40 percent from this time last year with gains across the gamut and growth from new online classes being offered by the college. President Charley D. Holstein credited hard work by faculty, staff and administrators serving on the college’s online committee as well as technological upgrades and training that aide in the delivery of online classes to students.
“A major measure in the college’s mission statement is making our services ... our courses and programs ... as accessible as possible,” Holstein said. “This recent gain we have experienced in online enrollment is just the start. We are continuing to build and improve the avenues students demand for education and training by ramping up technology at RLC and putting our best people on this task.”
Vice President of Academic Instruction Chris Kuberski is leading the online committee at RLC. She said new online options either being rolled out or on the drawing board include more core courses like music and art appreciation, improvements in quality assurance measures, and exploring opportunities in career-technical courses like agriculture and nursing.
The college’s Division of Allied Health, particularly the associate degree nursing program, will have 10 students participating in the Southern Illinois Online Nursing Initiative in January. The spring semester will mark the beginning of SIONI hybrid courses available through a number of colleges in the region and designed to battle the shortage of registered nurses in Southern Illinois. Working nurses who have strong ties to the region will have the opportunity to advance their education and become an RN by enrolling in SIONI through RLC.
The online committee has also developed a committee focused on faculty.
“The online committee is going to be working hand-in-hand with them to continuously improve faculty development opportunities in online learning,” Kuberski said.