Enrolment at TRU-OL on the rise

Karla Karcioglu, Contributor Ω

Higher enrollment rates will open other doors for those at TRU Open Learning. - Photo by Karla Karcioglu

Higher enrolment rates will open other doors for those at TRU Open Learning. – Photo by Courtney Dickson

TRU Open Learning (TRU-OL) enrolment is up nine per cent, according to an announcement made on Jan. 30 by vice-provost of TRU-OL Gordon Tarzwell. B.C. enrolments have grown by seven per cent and Canadian enrolment outside of B.C. is up 15 per cent.

Tarzwell feels that the growth is being driven by the reputation of the institution.

“We’re more marketable,” he said. “People are recognizing who we are.”

Donald Parker, the temporary manager of planning, metrics, and analytics — Open Learning Business Intelligence, explained that TRU-OL’s academic year runs through the calendar year. Between Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012, TRU-OL had 22,293 course enrolments by 11,690 individuals, an increase from the 20,628 course enrolments by 11,017 individuals in 2011.

“This shows an eight per cent increase in enrolment and a six per cent increase in the number of students,” said Parker. However, these numbers do not include cancellations or drop/delete records.

“There’re two important things,” Tarzwell said. “There’s growth within British Columbia. But what’s more exciting is the fact that growth outside B.C. is much higher.

“Distance education is growing in Canada at a faster rate than face-to-face education. This is a market that students are interested in. They are interested in that flexibility that distance education provides that you can’t get from face-to-face.”

According to Tarzwell, most TRU-OL students from outside B.C. are from Alberta and Ontario.

Open Learning is associated with three B.C. universities, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. This allows students to take courses from those universities that are offered through TRU-OL. The course credits for TRU students appear on transcripts as though you took the course directly at TRU.

“We are working to expand that partnership,” said Tarzwell. “We are in talks with TÉLUQ University.”

TÉLUQ University, part of the University of Quebec in Montreal, is a distance education institution similar to TRU-OL.

This partnership would allow students to take courses in French making TRU-OL “truly bilingual,” Tarzwell said.

TRU-OL is working with the faculty of arts to re-introduce a bachelor of arts in criminology by mid-February this year. Students would be required to take online and on-campus courses to complete the program.

TRU-OL is also working with the school of business and economics to provide graduate students with a distance education option for all masters of business administration (MBA) courses. This would be the first time Canadian students would be able to complete all MBA requirements online. TRU-OL is hoping to have at least some of the program running by September 2013.

Finally, TRU-OL is developing distance options in the educational leadership concentration, from courses in the masters of education. This would allow students to complete a masters of education with a concentration in educational leadership solely through distance education.

For more information on program and course offerings from TRU-OL you can visit their website, http://www.tru.ca/distance/ or email AdvisorC@tru.ca

Updated Feb. 2, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. by copy/web editor.