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What are Distance Offered Programs?

A distance offered program is one for which all required coursework can be completed via distance education courses. All completions for this program are considered distance offered completions, even if some students choose not to enroll in distance education courses. Inversely, a non-distance program cannot be completed via distance education courses and all of its corresponding completions are reported as non-distance completions. 

Because institutions are not required by IPEDS to report the actual distribution of completions by modality within a program, it is not possible to distinguish how many completions are distance and how many are non-distance within a given program. The IPEDS distance indicator simply communicates that a program is offered in the distance capacity, though it may also be offered on campus.  

Thus, it’s important to recognize two distinctions:

  • While 100% of the completions associated with a distance offered program will be reported as such, any number of those students could have taken courses on campus.
  • Although non-distance offered completions indicate that the experience wasn’t entirely online, some of the courses completed by the student may have been online.

Note: Data related to distance offered programs is only available for years 2012 and greater. 

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