ORANGE BEACH, AL–Student satisfaction with online learning at Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) accredited colleges and universities is at an all-time high. According to the 2006 DETC Outcomes Assessment, 9 out of 10 students who enroll in an online DETC accredited college or university reported a high level of satisfaction with their educational experience.

Assessment results also indicate that 9 out of 10 students achieve their learning goals through their distance learning curriculum. In addition, more than 97 percent of non-degree seeking and 94 percent of degree seeking online students are recommending their alma mater to a friend.

"Our quality programs, excellent student service, and maximum transfer credit are the hallmarks of Columbia Southern University," said Robert Mayes, President of Columbia Southern University, a DETC accredited private online university in Orange Beach, Alabama. "We want our students to know that our top priority is helping them succeed in their online degree program."

Each year, DETC accredited institutions must randomly select students to engage in this formal Outcomes Assessment process through a survey aimed at measuring student satisfaction with their educational experience. Founded in 1926, the DETC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a "nationally recognized accrediting agency".

"The outstanding results of this assessment document that DETC colleges and universities are delivering on their promises to students," said Michael P. Lambert, DETC Executive Director. "For the past four consecutive years, survey results have yielded that DETC accredited institutions of higher learning are giving value and are worthy of public confidence."

Online education has become an increasingly popular trend in the U.S., with an online enrollment rate surpassing that of traditional universities. According to the 2006 Sloan Consortium study, Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, nearly 3.2 million students were enrolled in at least one online course during the fall 2005 term–a significant increase over the 2.3 million reported the previous year. Colleges and universities all over the world are hopping on the bandwagon and are beginning to offer more online programs to satisfy this growing demand.

The majority of students who enroll in online programs are typically older with career and family responsibilities making online education a more realistic possibility for their educational needs. Enrollment numbers are highest for online undergraduate courses.

The Distance Education and Training Council is a non-profit educational association and nationally recognized accrediting agency located in Washington, D.C. created to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the correspondence field. For more information, please contact Jessica Brown, Coordinator of Public Relations for Columbia Southern University, at (251) 224-0561.

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