PSU Online Flexibility & Benefits

PSU’s flexibility with online classes makes it easier to get a business education

In Portland, more undergraduates are setting the terms for earning their degrees by choosing which of their classes each quarter to take online or on campus.

It’s a level of flexibility that colleges, like Portland State’s School of Business, are introducing to meet the growing demand for online higher education. More than six million higher education students have taken at least one course online, according to the Digital Learning Compass, a research partnership.

Most of the growth in online enrollment is happening at public colleges and universities. Arizona State University has 25,000 of its 72,000 students enrolled in online programs. The University of Central Florida offers 23 undergraduate and 29 graduate programs online. Portland State has experienced double-digit online class growth since 2012, with the biggest growth among female students. PSU reports 80% of their students will have taken at least one class online before they graduate.

Expanding online education is another example of an innovative PSU mindset that eliminates red tape and adjusts academic programs to accommodate the realities of students’ lives, says Cliff Allen, dean of the School of Business. The average age of PSU business school students is 27, and many are juggling family and work responsibilities while attending class.

“Flexibility and financial well-being are what helps students stay in college,” Allen says. “This town is getting harder to commute into. Our diverse students tend to live farther away from campus. Suddenly, if a transmission to a car blows up, paying for it becomes a catastrophe. Having options to finish their degrees when life hands them an unexpected complication is important for our students. At least we can offer an online alternative for them to stay in school while their car is not working.”

The School of Business at PSU offers three undergraduate areas online: management and leadership, supply and logistics management, and human resource management.  Students can complete their entire degree online. Some students study fully online but many students appreciate the option to mix online with on campus classes.

Business students can begin at PSU or at a partner community college. Mt. Hood Community College and Portland Community College developed "start to finish" online degree programs.

“It makes it really easy for students to finish without taking credits they don’t need,” Allen says, adding that it is important to him personally that students who take out higher education loans leave with a degree to show for their debt.

The degree requirements are identical to PSU’s campus-based programs and meet all accreditation requirements holding students to high academic standards. The same faculty teach both online and in the classroom.

“The negative connotation of an online degree is disappearing, because the quality is there,” Allen says.

In fact, the School of Business’s online classes are popular. There are approximately 3,500 undergraduate students studying business at Portland State this upcoming fall term. Of those 3,500 students, 1,740 are taking online classes.

The School of Business is continuing to expand online offerings, with the goal of offering online options for all programs. Accounting classes will be online by end of the 2018-19 academic year, and marketing and finance classes will be offered in the online format in coming years. PSU also offers a fully online master’s of science in global supply chain management. The master’s of taxation and healthcare MBA programs feature a mix of online and classroom courses.

Learn more about PSU’s School of Business.

As Oregon's urban research university, Portland State University offers tremendous opportunity to nearly 28,000 students from all backgrounds. If you’re looking to move ahead in your job or start a new career, PSU’s accredited online degree programs feature exceptional faculty and high academic standards.