» By RAVEN JACKSON – rjackson@my.apsu.edu

APSU’s Center for Extended and Distance Education is used by many students and community members to attain valuable skills relevant to their careers. Students can also complete courses and obtain degrees online.

Through the extended classes offered, people in the community can achieve a certification in phlebotomy or complete parenting classes required for couples with children going through a divorce. “[The classes are] for people who need some training so that they can take another path,” said said R. Keith Gipson, Student Services Specialist in Distance Education.The distance education program reaches out to students who need to take classes online, whether it’s for military reasons or time constraints. “We have students who live in Clarksville and take classes online,” Gipson said.

“We also have a large population that is in other parts of the world. We have military [personnel] that are in Iraq and Afghanistan who take classes. It’s not uncommon for a spouse to start going to school here and then the other partner gets stationed someplace else … [if] they want to continue their education, they’re able to do that.”

Some students would rather be in the classroom instead of taking a course completely online. “The difference in difficulty between taking a campus class and an online class depends on what the class is,” said Eric Wiley, junior corporate communications major. “Sometimes an online class can be harder because there are some things that people learn better by being taught in person, but sometimes it’s easier because you can do things at your own pace,” Wiley said.

“If you’re a procrastinator, you’re not going to be successful at [online classes], because it is dependent upon you to do a lot more reading, instead of a professor standing up in front of you and giving you a lecture. You have to read the lecture or watch the lecture,” Gipson said.

The Regents Online Degree Program (RODP), and APSU Online, are also a part of the Extended and Distance Education program, and two ways of obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or a certificate online. Courses taken through the program are transferable to any participating fully accredited institution.

To learn more about the Center for Extended and Distance Education, visit McReynolds building or call (931)-221-7816. TAS