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University of California System Bans Fully Online Degrees

shattering screen of a laptop computer

A fully online degree isn't an obvious fit for some universities, researchers say.

Credit: Getty Images

The 10-campus University of California system this month closed a loophole that could have let a student or department craft a stealth, fully online undergraduate degree through individually approved online courses.

That loophole was closed with the approval of regulations which institute an undergraduate residency requirement. The requirement makes clear the UC system's view of the benefits students reap when they show up in person at least some.

But in justifying its choice of offering no fully online degrees, some researchers note that the California system has perpetuated some outdated or unsupported claims about online learning.

The pandemic introduced remote learning on a societal scale, which has helped destigmatize online degrees. Today, nearly three-quarters of employers perceive online educational credentials as on par with or of a higher quality than those completed in person, according to a 2021 Northeastern University study.

From Inside Higher Ed
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