Northeastern University is a private research institution in Boston that’s best known for its innovative, cooperative education program. One of the first and largest of its kind in the world, this optional program combines classroom learning with real-world experience so that students can gain work experience at places like GEICO or MTV before they graduate. About 90% of students participate in the co-op program, while the rest fulfill Northeastern’s experiential learning requirement by participating in research, service learning, or study abroad programs. In the classroom, students can choose from undergraduate majors in 65 departments, and more than 125 programs in master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees.
The university is highly regarded among four-year institutions. U.S. News & World Report ranks it among the top national universities on its 2012 best colleges rankings. Many of its graduate schools, including business, engineering, and law, also were ranked. The school was also named a best value private college for 2011-2012 by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Northeastern offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs from eight colleges through its online division. Areas of study include health sciences; arts, media and design; business administration; computer and information sciences; engineering; professional studies; science; and social sciences and the humanities. To ensure that students receive the same education online as they could on campus, Northeastern requires that all instructors complete a certification process that focuses on successfully using online technology to replicate typical campus-based course experiences in an online environment.
Programs and degrees can be completed 100% online through the help of Blackboard, Northeastern’s online learning platform. Here, students can find course materials, as well as announcements and news from their instructors, upcoming due dates for assignments, and a list of their instructor’s learning objectives for that week. Students can complete their lessons on their own time, just as long as they keep up with the course’s weekly schedule and due dates.
Northeastern’s online learning environment varies depending on the course. Students may be required to connect with their peers and instructors either asynchronously – on their own time – or synchronously – in real time. Regardless, they’ll be able to connect with their fellow classmates, such as through discussion boards and email. Their instructors may even hold virtual office hours to connect with students outside of the “classroom,” from anywhere in the world.