What is a Hybrid Degree Program?

On of the most popular options for today’s students is known as the hybrid degree program, which blends the convenience of online learning with the in-person instruction that benefits students in the classroom. These hybrid programs are leading the way in an era when many students prefer to work while they pursue their degree in order to offset high tuition costs and minimize their student loan debt burden after graduation. They come with some unique considerations and benefits, however, which are important to understand before applying for admission to any of today’s most popular hybrid degree offerings through major universities.

The Main Benefit: Minimized, But Not Eliminated, Class Attendance

In a traditional, on-campus degree program, students are required to be in class for three hours per week, split over anywhere from on to three days. This has ben the standard mode of delivering on-campus degrees for many decades, and it’s a formula that works for traditional students. In a hybrid program, however, the goal is to minimize the on-campus attendance requirement by replacing one or two class meetings with asynchronous online access. Students typically attend class for roughly on hour, one day per week. For the rest of the time that week, they’ll participate in online discussion boards, write and submit papers through an online learning portal, and even take online quizzes or complete online homework in an effort to further their understanding of the material.

Class Attendance: What’s Involved in a Hybrid Program?

The goal of minimizing class attendance comes at the expense of learning in a traditional, lecture-based format. Most programs offered in a hybrid format only require students to attend on one day per week, largely for the following reasons:

– Proctored Examinations

Many schools require hybrid students to come to campus in order to take midterms, finals, and other significant tests, during the course of a typical college class. This helps the university ensure that students are adhering to the university’s academic honest policy, and it puts all students on a level playing field in terms of class performance and material comprehension,

– Important Lectures

In a hybrid class, and throughout a hybrid degree program, students are typically introduced to one or two significant concepts per week. That introduction typically takes place through an on-campus lecture one night per week, on those weeks when a test is not being proctored. Students benefit from a traditional lecture, and then use the information learned in class when they compose papers, discussion posts, and other assignments, all though the school’s online portal.

Resource: Are Study Groups Available to Online College Students?

– Internships

Many hybrid programs heavily emphasize the importance of internships, and this is one part of the program that must happen offline. Students typically will enroll in an internship “class,” which will meet for between three and 12 hours during the semester. This allows them to work at the internship while maintaining at least a few hybrid courses during the final year of their program.

A Great Option for Professionals or Nontraditional Students

The great thing about a hybrid program is that it blends the convenience of online classes with the added instruction and assistance that comes with setting foot in the classroom. As distance learning picks up speed and students look for options that combine campus attendance with at-home learning, the prominence of hybrid degree program offerings will likely increase even further.