A Study: Exploring the Feasibility of Developing a Computer Science Online Degree Program at Tuskegee University

Ingrid A. Buckley, Hira Narang


This paper investigates the feasibility of developing an online degree for a computer science and information technology degree programs. Our motivation is to increase access to quality education with the aim of stimulating growth, attracting new students, and retaining our current student body. A survey was conducted of CS/IT online degrees which are offered completely online. The survey includes various historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and majority universities throughout the United States to gain a broad perspective on the current offerings. This study provides comparisons of some majority universities against smaller universities, especially HBCUs in terms of online education. The pros and cons associated with online education are discussed to further understand if it could help us attain our goals. The resource and requirements (infrastructure, software, tools, and training) needed to develop a degree completely online are presented. A wide variety of tools, technologies software programs available in both private and public domain are enumerated and described. A detailed discussion is presented based on our departmental and curricular needs, including a phased implementation strategy for creating undergraduate and graduate degree programs online. A cost and benefit analysis is given to determine roughly, the overall effort of implementing online degrees within the CS Department. Lastly, some recommendations and conclusion based on our findings from the cost benefit analysis is presented. The goal of this work is to provide other institutions pondering the implementation of online courses/degree programs with a holistic understanding of this endeavor in terms of magnitude and cost.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/hes.v4n3p48

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Higher Education Studies  ISSN 1925-4741 (Print)   ISSN 1925-475X (Online)

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