First Online Bachelor’s Degree Offered Jointly by UNK and UNO

Glennis Nagel

online enrollment graphUNK and the University of Nebraska at Omaha have teamed up to offer the first completely online bachelor’s degree, a bachelor of general studies (BSG), through the University of Nebraska.

The first students to enter the program are enrolled this spring, according to Gloria Vavricka, UNK director for eCampus.

“The new online option will prepare adults for careers in management, human resources, public relations, marketing and communications,” Vavricka said. The degree focuses on organizational administration, with major course offerings in business, organizational communications and sociology.

“This is a good program for adults who have delayed or interrupted their college education,” said UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “It is also a good fi t for someone who has an associate’s degree and would like to earn a bachelor’s degree.”

“Adults who have always wanted to earn a college degree, but couldn’t because they didn’t live in a college town, or they couldn’t attend classes during the day, can now do so,” Vavricka said.

To register for the BGS online program, a student must be 21 years old or older, have basic computer literacy, and have access to a computer and the Internet.

A minimum of fi ve online courses will be offered each semester, and at least two of those courses will be offered by UNK. The degree includes 45 credit hours of general studies, 15 hours of organizational communications, 15 hours of business, 15 hours of sociology and 35 hours of electives. More information about the offering is available at:

UNK first offered online graduate level courses in the spring of 2000. Thirty students enrolled. Last summer, 1,271 students (by classes enrolled) enrolled in the more than 70 graduate courses that were offered. Each semester has seen a continued climb in the numbers. (See chart.)

“UNK is not unique in these enrollment trends,” Vavricka said, citing a study by the Sloan-C Consortium, which found that online courses are becoming the fastest-growing market in higher education.

“It’s not hard to understand why online programs are so attractive,” Vavrick said. “With online courses, students are no longer placebound or timebound.”