In the ever-evolving mass media, online distance learning is a facet of education quickly growing in popularity. And with more than 60 percent of its 7,600+ students completing their entire education online, Regent University’s population holds fast and true to the trend-turned-staple in the education market.
From November 9-13, Regent’s Office of Student Services, University Library and the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), will celebrate the 2015 National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), an annual effort to inform the public about the growth and trends of online K-12 and college-level learning.
“Regent is one of the leaders in online higher education, and we count it a privilege and great opportunity to provide a meaningful learning experience for all of our distance learners,” said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, executive vice president for academic affairs.
And Regent is also following the timeless credo, allowing itself to be taught by its students as well, according to Carolyn Hughes, director or Regent’s Office of Student Services. She said that distance students contribute to the education and development of their fellow students around the globe.
“They help us live out our mission of Christian Leadership to Change the World on a daily basis,” said Carolyn Hughes, director of Regent’s Office of Student Services. “NDLW is a great way for us to honor these students and remind everyone that although distance separates us physically, we are still part of one ‘#RegentFam.’”
Brenda Stewart ’16 (School of Psychology & Counseling), is one such distance-learner completing her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from her home in St. Louis, Missouri. She said that one of her favorite parts of her online education is the interactive, live-classroom simulation she participates in during her “class-time.”
“The online community is remarkable,” said Stewart. “I’ve built some amazing friendships on a solid foundation with others around the country that are passionate and pursuing similar life-goals.”
Stewart has spent considerable time establishing relationships within her cohort, communicating with her fellow-students via text, phone and FaceTime throughout her educational career at Regent. This, she believes, has led to her strong friendships within the Regent community, though she’s studying nearly 1,000 miles away from the Virginia Beach campus.
“I have support from my friends as well as faculty,” said Stewart. “I chose to get involved in as much as I could during my time here. It’s funny, as excited as I am to graduate and look forward to the next step on my journey, at the same time I’ll miss the community and strong sense of belonging I have with my cohort family.”
This year, in addition to the vast resources provided by Regent’s Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) faculty and the University Library, Regent’s social media team is hosting a contest on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram streams.
Online students are encouraged to post a “selfie” with their name, location and a blurb about why they love being a part of the Regent community with the #RegentFam hashtag. A random winner will be selected and announced on Monday, November 16.