National American University’s history dates back to 1941, when what was then called the National School of Business opened in South Dakota for specialized business training. Over the years, it expanded both its locations and its offerings, with 35 campuses in 11 states, and nearly 40 programs at the diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree levels. The school also launched an online division in 1996.
The for-profit school caters to all types of students, including working adults, transfer students, high school graduates, active duty military, and international students. It offers courses year-round with multiple start dates, so that you can move through your degree program faster. The school also does things a little differently than most schools by offering an inverted curriculum. This means that you can get started in your major your first year, rather than after taking your core curriculum courses first, so you can immediately find out if the degree program is a good fit for you.
Online programs are offered at the diploma and associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. There are a variety of disciplines from which to choose, too. At the bachelor’s degree level, program offerings include accounting, business administration, criminal justice, health care management, and information technology. At the graduate level, NAU Online awards masters in business administration, management, and nursing.
NAU’s online learning hub is called Desire2Learn, and is where students can access their courses, the electronic library, tutoring, and a help desk. The school’s online classes are designed to be flexible; students must “attend” class each week, but they can choose what time is convenient for them. For graduate students based in the Rapid City, S.D., area, who prefer a hybrid of both online and on-campus learning, they also would have the flexibility to do a combination of both.
Online learning could be an isolated experience compared to attending class face to face on a campus, so to combat this, students are encouraged to interact with each other from the start of their online program. At the beginning of each class, for instance, they’re asked to introduce themselves and will regularly discuss topics with each other throughout the course. Through the online student portal, students can also find whatever help they need, such as learning resource center services, tutoring, counseling, and computer support.