There are more than 30 post-secondary institutions in Kansas. Of these schools, 30 offer online programs. Of these accredited online colleges, seven are public four-year colleges or universities and six are public community or technical colleges and 17 are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools. These schools offer 316 online certificate programs, 2,805 online associates programs, 3,229 online bachelors programs, 1,194 online masters programs, 1,456 online professional programs, and 262 online doctoral programs. In these programs, students may study subjects ranging from crime scene investigation to gerontology to journalism.
As of April 2013, colleges in the Kansas University System offer a collective 449 distance education programs, which account for nearly 20 percent of the 2,413 total degree programs available in the system. Students enrolled in Kansas online schools in 2012 earned a total of 13,939 degrees and certificates. In 2012, more than 99,000 students enrolled in at least one online course at a Kansas college or university. The most common online degree programs in Kansas are liberal arts, accounting, nursing, and criminal justice.
As of March 2013, the unemployment rate in Kansas was 5.6 percent, much lower than the national average. There are an estimated 1.3 million people working in non-agrarian employment in Kansas. The biggest employers in the state are Kansas’ state and local governments, with approximately 257,600 people holding government jobs. After government, the largest industries are education, health services, trade, utilities, and transportation. As a result, some of the fastest growing occupations in Kansas are marketing analysts, software developers, and health educators.
The average wage in Kansas is less than the national average. In the U.S., workers earn about $42,871 annually. However, in Kansas, workers earn about $39,290 annually. The median income for employees is $30,590 per year. But, the top 10 percent of the state’s employees earn over $70,270 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earn under $17,000.
On average, public four-year colleges and universities in Kansas charge students approximately $5,362 per year. On average, tuition at public community and technical colleges was $1,642 per year. Private accredited online college tuition ranged from $6,480 to $20,506 per year.
Accreditation in Kansas
Many of the accredited online and brick-and-mortar colleges in Kansas receive their accreditation from the The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC is a corporation that makes up half of the membership of the North Central Commission of Colleges and Schools (NCA), one of the six regional institutional accrediting agencies for colleges and universities in the United States. Attending an accredited online school or program is necessary as your degree will not be recognized by other schools or by future employers otherwise. Often, it means the difference between getting into that transfer school or landing that new job. Check for school accreditation, either from the HLC or another recognized accrediting agency, before formally applying to any online degree program.
Distance Learning Resources
- Kansas Public Higher Education & Training Program Search was created by the Kansas Board of Regents to help prospective students find valuable information regarding online education in the state. Basically, it is a search engine for online schools, degree programs, and classes specific to Kansas.
- Kansas State Library Student Research Central can be used to look up publications, scholarly articles, and journals online. The Kansas State Library is open for use to Kansans who have a valid student ID and/or library card.
- Spring 2013 Distance Learning Report was drafted by members of the Kansas Board of Regents and details any new and relevant information regarding online education in Kansas in spring of 2013.
- Kan-Ed is an online resource designed and implemented by the Kansas legislature as a tool for prospective students to use when researching higher education options in the state.
- Kansas’ Economy at a Glance, developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, has all of the current data regarding employment and general economic data in Kansas. Use this resource when researching potential career paths.
- Kansas Department of Education Scholarships and Awards Dept. is a resource that you can use to search for funding in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans offered and promoted by the state.
Located in the Southern region of the United States, Kansas was named from the Kansas River, which was named from the Kaw, a Native American tribe. It is the 15th largest state in the country, and has an area of 82,278 square miles. The average annual temperature in the state is approximately 54°F.
Of the states in the country, Kansas has the 19th smallest population. It has an estimated population of 2,853,118 residents living in its 105 counties. About 43 percent of Kansas’s population is under the age of 30. Also, it has one of the least diverse populations in the nation with about 22 percent of the population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group.
Kansas’s capital city is Topeka. However, the state’s largest city is Wichita, which has a population of 382,368 residents. Of the state’s residents, about 7.46 percent reside in the greater Wichita area. Some of the other populous cities in Kansas include Overland Park, Kansas City, Topeka, and Olathe.
Kansas residents normally have a lower than average level of education as compared to those around the US. According to the 2010 Census, an estimated 17.9 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have graduated from high school, 5.1 percent have at least an associates degree, 4 percent have degrees at the bachelors level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.