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OU Online Reveals Gains in 2023 Impact Report

Photo of the cover the 2023 OU Online Impact Report

OU Online Reveals Gains in 2023 Impact Report

January 23, 2024

by Michael Mahaffey

OU Online continued its mission to deliver high-quality and affordable online degree programs to students wherever they may be in 2023, reaching new heights in the number of students served, degree programs offered, degrees awarded and new services provided to its ever-growing number of students.

The Fall 2023 term kicked off with OU Online offering more than 50 fully online degree programs across 15 OU colleges – more than double the original portfolio of degree options offered when OU Online was founded in 2019.

Expanding Our Reach

By adding new workforce-focused degree programs, OU Online reached more students seeking career advancement through flexible, online degrees.

OUO launched three new graduate and five undergraduate degree programs during the 2022-23 academic year. Online applications for Fall 2022, Spring 2023 and Summer 2023 exceeded 4,000, with 2,629 admission. A total of 1,082 students in OU Online programs earned their degrees during the 2022-2023 school year.

With over 3,800 new and returning students enrolled overall in online courses during the 2022-23 academic year, OU Online ranked as the eighth largest university/campus in Oklahoma. More than 60% of these students live outside of Oklahoma.

Setting Students Up for Success

Graduates from our online graduate degree programs reported exceptional results in the workforce after graduating, with 80% reporting being hired within six months of earning their degree. In addition, 63% of graduates reported salaries of more than $75,000, with another 25% earning more than $50,000 per year.

Two-thirds of graduates said obtaining their master’s degree through OU Online assisted in changing their career trajectory or resulted in a promotion with their current employer. Furthermore, 87% were satisfied with their career paths after earning their degrees and 78% believe the skills gained during their degree programs made them more competitive.

A Winning Strategy

In Fall 2023, OU Online added the first fully online undergraduate degree options to its portfolio with the launch of its degree completion program for working adults. Five in-demand majors were launched for students at least 25 years of age with some prior college credit, providing a pathway for students to finish their undergraduate degrees while preparing to enter the workforce in areas of critical need within Oklahoma.

The first 130 students began taking courses in the new programs during the semester, with several scheduled to graduate as early as May 2024.

To accomplish this level of growth, a skilled team of experienced instructional designers from OU’s Office of Digital Learning worked with 447 instructors across the university to assist in creating 463 online courses during the year. The team’s experience and dedication throughout the year ensured that our online students received innovative and engaging learning experiences. In Fall 2023, 238 courses were running, with 218 instructors teaching online.

OU Online launched the Academic Restart Scholarship in Spring 2023 to support former OU students who had yet to complete their degrees due to bursar holds on their accounts. Seven students received the first of these scholarships, worth an average of $1,136, to bring their bursar balances to zero and allow them to re-enroll and continue their educations.

Exceptional Student Support

Throughout the year, the Student Support Services team continued to develop a robust assortment of services and programs to help students reach their potential, ensuring online access to OU’s library, technology and accessibility services while developing new partnerships to provide 24/7 tutoring services and mental health counseling services for our online students. The team also continued to focus on cultivating community among our online students by developing nine unique affinity groups where students can engage with and support each other.

Looking Ahead

The future is looking bright for continued growth for OU Online programs, with more than 1,000 new graduate students and 130 new undergraduate students enrolled in online courses for the Fall 2023 semester and several new degree programs scheduled to launch during the year.

Recent changes to admission requirements for the adult degree completion program will also increase access for online students wanting to complete their bachelor’s degrees at OU.

You can learn more about OU Online programs and see a digital copy of the complete 2023 OU Online Impact Report on the OU Online website.