A new University of Arkansas System endeavor is tapping into its large pool of faculty across many institutions and reaching more Arkansans than ever. eVersity, the state’s first fully online education that launched last fall, ended its first term in February with a collective GPA of 3.47. The second six-week term starts this month to help more students complete their degrees and become workforce ready. With seven start dates throughout the year, back-to-school can happen anytime for people seeking this university path.
Arkansas ranks No. 49 nationally in the percentage of the population with college degrees. “And we’re falling fast,” said Michael K. Moore, chief academic and operating officer of eVersity and vice president of academic affairs for the UA System. “Something has to be done, whether it’s with us or another one of our many higher education institutions. It’ll take a great team effort from everyone across the state to improve that statistic. But being the state’s only 100 percent online institution allows us to offer a high-quality, affordable and workforce-relevant experience.”
Michael K. Moore, chief academic and operating officer of eVersity & vice president of academic affairs for the UA System
The best thing about eVersity is it offers a second chance to those who gave up on their higher education dreams, Moore noted. “We know that there are 356,000-plus Arkansans who once saw the value in higher education and had a dream to earn a degree, but for whatever reason life got in the way and they didn’t complete what they set out to do. The goal of eVersity from the very beginning has been to identify as many of the barriers as possible that are preventing those people from returning to school and work really hard to remove the barriers and do whatever possible to get them across the finish line.”
Faculty and students have been pleased at how engaging the online courses are, Moore said. UA System faculty works with an eVersity team of instructional designers to make classes as interactive, visually appealing and fulfilling as possible. “Our efforts to design very high-quality and interactive online classes are paying off, and our faculty has also commented about our students being among the most attentive and productive as any they’ve taught before.”
Areas of study
Courses last six weeks, and students generally take just one course at a time. Areas of study include information technology, criminal justice, business, health care management and university studies. Thoughtful analysis identified the needs of Arkansas employers and the current job market to choose eVersity’s fields of study, Moore said. “We’re happy with what we have to offer and feel like we are concentrating our efforts on what’s best for Arkansans and the state’s employers. With that being said, we are tapped into employers’ needs and ready and willing to meet those demands as things evolve.”
- Cost per credit hour is $165.
- Average applicant age is 35.
- 73 percent of Arkansas counties are represented in the applicant pool.
- 60 percent of the applicants are women.
- Applicants bring an average of 67 transfer credits from prior institutions.