Online Degrees In Delaware (DE)
Delaware may be small, but it’s mighty. It’s thriving too, according to several economic measures. The state’s prime coastal location makes it an important tourist destination. Delaware has one of the nation’s strongest economies, thanks to a booming financial industry, as well as the lowest unemployment rate it’s had in a decade.
But all is not rosy for The First State. It has a comparatively low rate of high school graduations, and its rate of postsecondary education attainment is only 42.4 percent, which falls several points below the national average. And an increasingly worrisome shortage of skilled workers could stall future economic growth.
One solution could be online degrees in Delaware, which offer flexibility to students who already are employed but wish to increase their skills and meet employers’ educational needs. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of Delaware colleges that offer online degree programs.
Why Earn an Online Degree in Delaware?
Delaware’s known on the East Coast as a low-tax hub with a prime coastal location and close proximity to major business centers such as Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. For these reasons, many employers choose Delaware as home for their businesses. Yet numerous economic reports suggest that employers are becoming concerned about the availability of skilled labor. The National Restaurant Association reported that more than one-third of its members identified labor recruitment as their biggest challenge, particular with regard to chefs. Other industries including health care, education and technology are struggling to find trained workers as well.
Yet fewer than half of Delaware’s residents have the needed postsecondary credentials to earn these jobs. And with unemployment at rock bottom — far below the national average and lower than neighboring states — it’s likely that those who might be interested in these jobs are currently employed. How are they to earn needed training?
Online education in Delaware may be the answer. Online programs are often designed with full-time employees in mind, because they enable students to complete their coursework from home at any times that fit their schedules, as long as the work is submitted on time. Several of these programs may even be accelerated, so you can earn your certificate or degree quickly and hit the job market more quickly.
Featured Colleges that Offer Online Degree Programs in Delaware
Where you do start the online program selection process? With this list of featured Delaware colleges that offer online degree programs. Our methodology is based on such considerations as cost, graduation rates, number of online programs, student support services and more.
|Average in-state tuition||$12,250|
|No. of online programs||10|
|% of students in distance education||11|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$10,041|
|Average in-state tuition||$26,406|
|No. of online programs||1|
|% of students in distance education||6|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$16,302|
|Average in-state tuition||$11,160|
|No. of online programs||62|
|% of students in distance education||74|
|Avg. amount of Aid||$3,788|
Top Online Degree Programs in Delaware
In order to identify online degrees in Delaware that fit the needs of its employers, we’ve drawn data from the National Center for Education Statistics to create this list of top online degree programs in Delaware, which may be offered fully or only partially online.
Quality of Online Education in Delaware
Many institutions in the state have taken steps to assure students of receiving a quality online education in Delaware. Five of the state’s institutions are members of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). This nationwide partnership of states is intended to make distance education more accessible to students across state lines by lowering costs and ensuring consistent quality and rigor.
Beyond that, schools have implemented a variety of other measures to ensure quality. Here are some examples:
- At University of Delaware, its UD Online distance education program is supported by Professional and Continuing Studies, which provides best practices and course design help to faculty. This ensures that courses align with copyright guidelines and practical guidelines for acces, texts, media and more.
- Springfield College’s online courses are co-developed by content experts and formally trained instructional designers, according to best practices established by the national quality assurance organization for distance education, Quality Matters.
- Goldey-Beacom College guarantees that 100 percent of its full-time faculty have earned the highest degrees in their teaching fields and that they undergo a stringent annual review process.
Take a close look at any potential online degree programs in Delaware to discover what they’re doing to ensure quality.
What to Look for in Online Degree Programs in Delaware
Another measure of quality in any school you’re considering is accreditation. This involves the school or program voluntarily undergoing a third-party review of program content, rigor, student support and financial stability. It’s so important that the federal government requires that any student receiving federal financial aid must use it to attend an accredited school, and institutional or state financial aid may have the same requirement. Additionally, accreditation ensures that you will receive workplace-relevant training. This should be the first thing you seek out when deciding between online degree programs in Delaware.
Beyond that, here are a few questions you should ask yourself when weighing programs, according to the National Council of SARA:
- What do you expect of the program (length of program, course delivery, certifications, etc.) and will the program deliver on those?
- What does the program expect of you (time commitment, scheduling, technological requirements, etc.) and can you fulfill those requirements?
- What’s the typical online student experience like, in terms of course activities, peer or faculty interaction, etc., and does that align with your wishes?
- How experienced are the instructors in the field you plan to pursue?
- What services does the program offer to support your learning and help you succeed? These might include tutoring, counseling, advisement, mentorship and more.
Top Occupations in Delaware
The following list of top occupations in Delaware comes from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS’) latest employment data. It may be useful to you in deciding upon a course of study, to provide your best shot at a career.
Number of Workers
|Office and Administrative Support Occupations||65,890||$41,150|
|Sales and Related Occupations||46,660||$40,630|
|Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations||43,560||$26,030|
|Transportation and Material Moving Occupations||34,870||$35,810|
|Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations||31,410||$88,140|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||29,410||$78,700|
|Educational Instruction and Library Occupations||26,570||$57,090|
|Healthcare Support Occupations||17,790||$31,620|
|Construction and Extraction Occupations||17,200||$52,750|
|Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations||16,610||$51,400|
|Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations||16,190||$31,420|
|Computer and Mathematical Occupations||15,530||$94,450|
|Fast Food and Counter Workers||12,660||$21,580|
|Personal Care and Service Occupations||10,990||$30,690|
|Protective Service Occupations||10,610||$46,990|
Top Metropolitan Areas in Delaware
Predictably, due to its location and proximity to major interstates and business centers, employs high numbers of people in trade, transportation and utilities. UPS has 11,000 employees in Delaware, for example, and the Port of Wilmington’s expansion will make it one of the largest logistics facilities on the Delaware River. Its coastal location and colonial history also attract tourism. The state has a strong reputation for its financial services as well. In fact, financial services account for 9 percent of all the state’s jobs — the highest share of any state. The state is home to a major health care and education cluster, thanks to the University of Delaware and several health care systems and facilities. According to the BLS, the occupations employing the highest numbers of people in the state are office and administrative support, sales, food preparation and serving, health care and transportation and material moving jobs.
Here’s a look at the top occupations in the state’s major metropolitan areas:
Wilmington: As a financial center, Wilmington, at the mouth of the Delaware River, is home to JPMorgan Chase, which is headquartered here, as well as other important players in the financial sector such as Bank of America, Citibank Delaware, ING Direct, PNC Bank and Discover Bank. Financial businesses employ more than 175,000 workers in the state. Other major employers are related to tourism — more than 235,000 in food and beverage alone — as well as health care, education and transportation and material moving.
Dover: Located in central Delaware, Dover is home to a major air force base known for cargo handling, as well as a strong highway system, postsecondary institutions, more than 75 manufacturers and a strong tourism economy, driven mostly by its coastal proximity and historical sites. Some of the state’s largest employment numbers are in food and beverage, transportation/material moving, education, health care and production occupations.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Delaware
Fortunately, it can be affordable to attend online degree programs in Delaware, thanks to several important programs the state has put into place.
- Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) Scholarship Program: This innovative program provides tuition for eligible students enrolling full time in associate degree programs at Delaware Technical Community College or the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts program. Eligibility requirements include graduating from Delaware high schools, meeting the state’s residency requirements, having cumulative GPAs of at least 2.5 and maintain that GPA in the degree program.
- Academic Common Market: This tuition-savings agreement between 15 states enables students to earn baccalaureate or graduate degrees in Delaware (or for Delaware students to earn degrees in other participating states’ programs) even if they aren’t residents and receive in-state tuition.
- Inspire Scholarship: Students who graduate from Delaware high schools and enroll at Delaware State University may qualify for this scholarship if they earn minimum GPA requirements (2.75 and up) and complete community service each semester, along with other requirements.
- Scholarship Incentive Program (ScIP): This need-based grant for undergraduate Delaware students requires in-state residency, demonstrated financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a minimum GPA of 2.5 and full-time enrollment.
Other scholarships and grants are available through the state or through individual institutions.
Tests You May Need to Take
You should expect that many schools will require college entrance exam scores, either from the SAT or ACT, such as Delaware State University or University of Delaware. Some schools don’t require these but recommend them as support for admission. Examples include Delaware College of Art and Design and Goldey-Beacom College. And still others, such as Delaware Technical Community College or Wilmington University, have open admissions policies and don’t use test scores at all for admission. Talk to admissions representatives at your prospective school to learn what’s required.
- College Navigator: Delaware, Institute for Education Studies, National Center for Education, accessed October 30, 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=DE&pg=1
- Delaware’s progress toward the goal, A Stronger Nation, Lumina Foundation, February 2019, http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2019/#state/DE
- David Payne, “Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook for All 50 States, 2020,” Kiplinger, Oct. 16, 2019, https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T019-S010-kiplinger-economic-outlook-for-all-50-states-2020/index/
- “Student Questions,” NC-SARA, accessed October 30, 2019, https://www.nc-sara.org/student-questions
- Faculty Resources, University of Delaware, accessed October 30, 2019, http://www.pcs.udel.edu/faculty-resources/
- Delaware Programs, Delaware Scholarship Compendium, accessed October 30, 2019, http://scholarships.delawarestudentsuccess.org/delaware-programs/
- Evan Comen, “The states with the best and worst economies,” USA Today, July 13, 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/06/jobs-gdp-unemployment-states-with-best-worst-economies/39651531/
- State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, Delaware Department of Education, accessed October 30, 2019, https://www.doe.k12.de.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2983
- Alex Vuocolo, “Labor markets tighten as Delaware jobless rate falls,” Delaware Business Times, April 8, 2019, https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/labor-markets-tighten-as-delaware-jobless-rate-falls/
- Jeff Neiburg, “Unemployment rate down to 4 percent in Delaware; lowest unemployed total in 10 years,” Delaware News Journal, June 15, 2018, https://www.delawareonline.com/story/money/business/2018/06/15/delaware-unemployed-total-lowest-10-years/705177002/
- Jeff Neiburg, “Restaurant boom at Delaware beaches causing a labor shortage for some,” The News Journal, May 24, 2018, https://www.delawareonline.com/story/money/business/2018/05/25/restaurant-boom-delaware-beaches-causing-shortage-labor/632372002/
- John Eisler, Ph.D., “Lastly,” Triangle magazine, Springfield College, winter 2019, https://springfield.edu/triangle/volume-88-no-2-winter-2019/lastly
- Committed to Quality, Goldey-Beacom College, accessed October 30, 2019, https://www.gbc.edu/about/quality/
- Delaware Prosperity Partnership, accessed October 30, 2019, https://choosedelaware.com/
- NC-SARA Institution Directory, accessed October 30, 2019, https://www.nc-sara.org/directory
- May 2018 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2019, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm#D
- May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Delaware, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 2, 2019, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm
- Wilmington Fast Facts, City of Wilmington, accessed October 30, 2019, www.wilmingtonde.gov/home/showdocument?id=522
- Kent County Tourism Corporation, accessed October 30, 2019, https://www.visitdelawarevillages.com/about/tourism-economic-development/