Pennsylvania State University—​World Campus

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Distinguishing Characteristics

School type Public
Terms Semester
First year of program 2000-2001

Faculty & Classes

Full-time instructional faculty that teach courses accessible online 286
Part-time instructional faculty that teach courses accessible online 264
Average online teaching experience 2 years
Faculty have at least 1 year online teaching experience 73%
Faculty have at least 2 years online teaching experience 54%
Faculty have at least 3 years online teaching experience 37%
Full-time faculty with doctorate 165
Part-time faculty with doctorate 56
Full-time faculty whose highest degree is a bachelor's 12
Part-time faculty whose highest degree is a bachelor's 80
School finances online instructor training Yes
Continuing online instruction education required Yes
Full-time course development tech staff supporting faculty 136
Part-time course development tech staff supporting faculty 9
Average class size 26
Maximum class size 26


Online bachelor's degree programs 19
Online courses 419
Five most popular majors
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 24%
Psychology, General 19%
Business/Commerce, General 10%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 10%
Organizational Behavior Studies 9%
All majors
Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences
Turf and Turfgrass Management
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services
Business/Commerce, General
Labor and Industrial Relations
Organizational Behavior Studies
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Other
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
Information Science/Studies
Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences
Human Development and Family Studies, General
Health Professions and Related Programs
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies
Legal Professions and Studies
Legal Studies, General
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies
Natural Resources and Conservation
Natural Resources Management and Policy, Other
Psychology, General
Social Sciences
Economics, General
Political Science and Government, General
About the online bachelor's degree program (as submitted by school)

Penn State offers many of the same career-enhancing degree programs, online, that it offers at its 24 residential campus locations. The programs are taught by the same quality Penn State faculty and are fully supported with academic advising, technical support, and career counseling. The degrees that are earned are the same Penn State degrees that are offered in residence, with no distinction made on the official transcript or diploma that the program was offered online or at a distance.

Integration With Campus

Can earn degree entirely online Yes
Possible in-person attendance requirements
Orientations No
Group projects/simulations No
Exams No
Classes include campus-based students Yes
Collaboration among online and campus-based students Encouraged
Students enroll as online students No
Credits earned online equal earned on campus Yes
Faculty who teach online also teach on campus Majority
Same curricula for online and campus-based students All


Archived classes All
Classes can be received live None
Live online/on-campus classes after 5 p.m. N/A
Online chatrooms Yes
Web conferencing (webinars) Yes
Skype or other visual software Yes
New-student orientation Optional
Review and sign ethics statement Yes
Percentage of classes with lectures 26-50
Number of times per month faculty evaluate student participation 4
Courses requiring students to work collaboratively with other students Majority
Class participation graded Yes
Exams Yes
Same exams are administered only once Yes
Exams have random question order Yes
Each user has unique exam login Yes
Number of settings in which in-person exams are administered Multiple geographically dispersed settings
Anti-plagiarism screening required for essay assignments Depends
Measures to instill academic integrity (as submitted by school)

Most assessment strategies are group and project based involving papers and presentations.Where a high stakes exam is integrated into the course we use the Kryterion Secure OnlineTesting system. Students must authenticate by both photo and data forensics methods and are proctored by a live proctor who observes the exam remotely. In the case of major papers faculty have access to Turnitin where they can determine if any sections of a paper have been plagiarized.Through the combination of group work, online discussions, synchronous meetings through Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate Live), and other assignments the faculty member can draw upon results of past work to determine if a current submission may have been submitted by another person.

List of Student Assessments Administered

Other assessment Yes
Description of other assessment Student Rating of Teaching Effectiveness
Other assessment results publicly available Yes

Graduation & Retention

Credits needed to graduate 120
Credits that must be earned through school 36
One-year retention rates
One-year retention rates
Limited time to complete degree Yes
Target time to earn final 25% of credits 4 years
Maximum time to earn final 25% of credits 5 years
Graduation rates
Graduation rates

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