Wichita State seeks to increase online student numbers

Online learning will grow in a more structured way at Wichita State University, the university said in a written statement Thursday.

WSU has established the Office of Online Learning, with an interim director, Mark Porcaro, the university said.

The university has offered online courses for several years, but WSU leaders say they intend to grow the effort. WSU’s new vice president for academic affairs, Tony Vizzini, has said that for many degree programs, there is no adequate online substitute for students working side by side with skilled instructors at a research university; but he has said there are many ways that online learning could help students and help WSU grow.

President John Bardo has said he intends to establish some full degree online programs soon. He’s also said he hopes to grow WSU’s effort at attracting more “adult learners,” roughly defined as potential students 24 or older. Online education will be one way to do that, Bardo has said.