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AG Schools Show Strong Online Performance

Recent statistics reveal that several AG universities, with at least 10 percent of its students exclusively online, experience significantly higher-than-average graduation rates than non-religious schools.

Through statistics gathered and compiled by The National Center for Education Statistics and published by Northwest University (AG), Kirkland, Washington, several Assemblies of God endorsed schools saw significantly better-than-average graduation rates than non-religious online schools.

The data, collected for schools that had at least 10 percent of its students pursuing their degrees exclusively through online courses, found that three AG-endorsed schools performed significantly better than the average score of their non-religious counterparts.

Northwest has a graduation rate of 53 percent (for all student types), Southeastern University (SEU) has 42 percent, and Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) has a 41 percent rate. According to the data, the average graduation rate for non-religious schools with at least 10 percent of their student population earning their degrees exclusively online, is just 34 percent.

The study, which examined graduation rates of those earning their degrees within six years of commencing their college career, also noted that 30 percent of SEU's student body are exclusively online learners. For SAGU that number is 34 percent of students. At Northwest, 10 percent of students are exclusively online.

Dr. Marilyn Abplanalp, president of the Alliance for Assemblies of God Higher Education, observes that parity is fast approaching online vs. on-campus higher education.

“There are those who believe there is a huge difference between online and on-campus completion (graduation) rates, but research is beginning to show the difference is slight,” Abplanalp states. “Most online students are nontraditional learners — students who to have to balance work, school, and family commitments.”

Though many students at private, non-profit schools such as Northwest University, Southeastern University, and Southwestern Assemblies of God University are finding academic success online, Abplanalp points out that all online learners still require “much needed encouragement and help from the course instructor as well as those who monitor the online programs.”

Abplanalp, who applauds the success AG schools are showing both online and on-campus, says, “Ultimately [graduation success] all depends on the choice and style of learning pertaining to each student. However, whether a student learns well online or in a class environment, our colleges are producing successful graduates.”

For more information about all officially endorsed Assemblies of God schools, see colleges.ag.org.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.