Online students travel thousands of miles to attend commencement

Approximately 10 percent of Colorado State University students graduating this spring earned a degree in an online or distance program. A number of them will walk in commencement ceremonies this weekend — some traveling more than a 1,000 miles to do so.

Among those attending are students from Florida, New York, Washington,Tennessee, Arizona, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Others will be coming from all over the state of Colorado.

“Commencement is the first time that many of our online students ever set foot on campus,” said Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation Mike Palmquist.  “They’ve told us that they’ve felt strongly connected to CSU and have praised the quality of their courses and the attention they’ve received from our faculty. But being here physically is something they really enjoy.”

In addition to commencement ceremonies, online and distance students are invited to attend a graduation brunch with their families at the Lory Student Center. “It’s exciting to see them as they arrive on campus for our graduation brunch and start to meet the people they’ve only talked with on the phone or connected to via email and the Web,” Palmquist said.

CSU offers more than 70 degree, certificate, and training programs online or at other locations around Colorado. This spring, graduates will earn degrees from 39 of those programs, including master’s degrees in engineering, agriculture, education, and music therapy, and bachelor’s degrees in human development and family studies, and psychology.

See the infographic below for more information about students graduating from CSU’s online and distance programs.