SOUTHPOINTE, Pa. (KDKA) — For the second year in a row, California University of Pennsylvania tops a national ranking for online degree and certificate programs.

It’s called online learning — and it’s one of the fastest growing methods by which college and graduate students are getting an education.

“We’re pretty much state of the art facility here. We can pretty much do anything,” says Mille Rodriquez, director of CalU’s Office of Web-Based Programs.

The office, based in Southpointe, involves all kinds of sophisticated technology that allows faculty to teach students online.

“We’ve done really well,” Rodriguez told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano. “I’m really proud of what we’ve been able — we built it from scratch.”

Twice now, CalU’s Global Online program has been named No. 1 in online degrees by the SR Education Group comparing data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“We have students in all 50 states, 34 different countries, approximately 2,500 students,” notes Dr. John Cencich, dean of Graduate Studies.

Cencich says there’s a reason why CalU is No. 1.

“We offer high quality, high value niche programs which really aren’t offered elsewhere.”

That includes programs in criminology, legal studies, even languages like Spanish and Arabic.

Learning in a traditional classroom is familiar to most of us, and now learning with computers in the classroom is also very common.

But learning online has one particular advantage to students — it saves money.

“They pay tuition and a few fees — but they don’t pay to live on campus,” notes Rodriguez. “They don’t pay for meal plans, those things that a campus-based student might have to pay for.”

But don’t expect the studies to be easier online — no hiding in the back of the classroom.

“In an online environment, that student has to be an active learner, has to participate,” adds Cencich.

What CalU officials believe helps them stand out is customer service.

With an office completely dedicated to helping students through the web-program process, their student customer satisfaction ranks high.

Now they’re not the only local medical assistant schools offering online education — many others do as well.

Check them all out — and even those from outside this region — before signing up.

California University of Pennsylvania
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