Saturday, August 23, 2014

Enrollments in Online Courses in the Fall 2012 Semester at Public vs. Private HBCUs

Last update: Thursday 2/5/15 @ 1:02pm 
This report is the DLL's first attempt to tabulate and analyze the data about student enrollments in "distance education" (DE) courses that was compiled by the IPEDS Data Center (U.S. Department of Education) for the first time for the Fall 2012 semester. Indeed, the Fall 2012 data was the only "distance education" data that IPEDS has published on its website as of July 2014..

This report only considers enrollments in DE courses offered by HBCUs. Subsequent reports will place the patterns observed in the HBCU data into the broader context of patterns found in the online enrollments of all of the nation's accredited colleges and universities.


(Note: This report will be updated soon to consider more recent IPEDS data and related data from the Babson surveys.)
A. IPEDS Definitions and Explanations
The following excepts from the "Fall Enrollment, Distance Education" sections on the IPEDS Website should be kept in mind:
  • "Distance education course - A course in which the instructional content is delivered exclusively via distance education. Requirements for coming to campus for orientation, testing, or academic support services do not exclude a course from being classified as distance education." 
     
  • "Distance education - Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously." 
     
  • "Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above."
Although the last paragraph indicates that technologies other than Internet were included in the IPEDS survey, the DLL's own surveys of HBCU Website indicate that the vast majority of the distance education courses offered by HBCUs in 2012 were "online courses" ... i.e.,  courses delivered via the Internet. In subsequent reports the DLL will attempt to estimate the size of the non-Internet component of DE courses offered by HBCUs; but for now this report will assume that the non-Internet component is negligible, i.e., less than five percent (5%). Therefore DE courses will be referred to as "online courses" throughout the remainder of this report.


B. The DLL's Surveys of HBCU Online & Blended Degree Programs 
As regular readers of this blog are probably aware, the DLL conducts an annual survey of the Websites of HBCUs in order to identify their online and blended degree programs. Links to the DLL's most recent directories of the HBCUs' programs can be viewed by clicking these links ==> 2012 ... 2013 ... 2014
  • The DLL's focus on degree programs provides a high level view of how HBCUs use online technology to support their off-campus, non-traditional students ... but the DLL's surveys can provide no estimates of the number of off-campus students who are enrolled in these online degree programs.
     
  • By contrast, the IPEDS data that is presented in Tables 1 and 2 (below) identifies the number of students at each HBCU who were enrolled in at least one online course during the Fall 2012 semester ... but the IPEDS data doesn't say how many of these students were traditional, on-campus students vs. how many were non-traditional, off-campus students.
     
  • Nevertheless, it will be seen that the IPEDS data is weakly consistent with the findings from the DLL's surveys; however there are a few anomalies that will be noted in the final sections of this report.

C. The IPEDS Data
Table 1A (below) displays the top ten rows from the full Table 1B (appendix) of 100 rows of data that was extracted from the IPEDS database. This brief excerpt will be used to illustrate the kinds of data found in the columns of the full table. The full table appears in the Appendix to this report (bottom of Web page).

Table 1A. Top Ten Rows of Table 1BB

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
ST
Type
Fall 2012
Enroll
Some
Online
%
Some
Online
2012
online
degree
programs
Wilberforce University
OH
Private
518
518
100.0%
Hampton University
VA
Private
4,765
3,741
78.5%
y
Paine College
GA
Private
837
436
52.1%
Alcorn State University
MS
Public
3,950
1,867
47.3%
Shaw University
NC
Private
2,183
1,012
46.4%
St Philip's College
TX
Public
10,313
4,209
40.8%
y
Virginia University of Lynchburg
VA
Private
540
202
37.4%
y
Norfolk State University
VA
Public
7,100
2,649
37.3%
y
Bethune-Cookman University
FL
Private
3,543
1,228
34.7%
y
Alabama State University
AL
Public
5,816
1,996
34.3%

  • The first column of Table 1A contains the names of the HBCUs; the second column notes their states; and the third indicates whether the HBCUs are public or private institutions. 
     
  • The fourth column records total enrollments (undergraduate and graduate levels) in the Fall 2012 semester
     
  • The fifth column displays the number of students in each HBCU that took at least one online course during the Fall 2012 semester ... Example: Wilberforce reported that all 518 of its students took at least one online course during the Fall 2012 semester ... Hampton reported that 3,741 students took at least one online course during the Fall 2012. 

    Note #1 -- IPEDS provides four variables: 1-"All students enrolled", 2-"
    Students enrolled exclusively in distance education courses", 3-"
    Students enrolled in some but not all distance education courses", and 4-"
    Students not enrolled in any distance education courses". The author has verified that the variables add up for all 100 HBCUs, i.e., 1 = 2 + 3 + 4; so the IPEDS data is consistent. ... The fifth column in Tables 1A and 1B, "Some Online", contains the sum of IPEDS 2 + IPEDS 3.


    Note #2 -- Each student is only counted once, no matter whether he or she took one online course, two online courses, or five online courses during the Fall 2012 semester

     
  • The sixth column reports the percentage of students who took at least one online course = Online/Enrollment ... Example: Wilberforce = 518/518 = 100% ... Example: Hampton = 3,741/4,765 = 78.5%
     
  • The seventh column (outside the table) flags HBCUs that offered online degree programs in the Fall 2012 semester, as recorded in the DLL's 2012 directory. Example: Wilberforce did not offer online degrees, but Hampton did.

D. Findings
Various facets of the IPEDS data in Table 1B (appendix) are summarized in the following three tables and graphs.

Table 2A. Enrollment Shares vs. Online Shares

Type
# HBCUs
Total
Enroll
Share
Total
Enroll
Total
Online
Share
Total
Online
Public
50
237,015
76.0%
39,568
80.6%
Private
50
74,656
24.0%
9,524
19.4%
Total
100
311,671
100.0%
49,092
100.0%



The stats displayed in Table 2A and Figure A provide the framework for the findings in subsequent tables and charts:
  • Although there were 105 HBCUs in the Fall 2012, five had lost their accreditation; hence the IPEDS database contains no data about them
     
  • Of the 100 accredited HBCUs, 50 were public and 50 were private -- as shown in the second column of Table 2A
     
  • The public HBCUs enrolled more than three times as many students as the private HBCUs ... 76% vs. 24% ... as shown in the fourth column of Table 2A and the first stacked column in Figure A.
     
  • The public HBCUs share of the HBCU students who took at least one course in the Fall 2012 semester was slightly larger than its share of enrollments ... 80.6% vs 19.4% for the private HBCUs ... as shown in the sixth column of Table 2A and the second stacked column of Figure A.
     

Table 2B. Three Groups of HBCUs -- Zero, Middle, and High

Type
Zero
 = 0%
Middle
= 0.1%
to 25.4%
High = 25.5%
 to 100%
Totals
Public
4
33
13
50
Private
31
12
7
50
Total
35
45
20
100




The 100 accredited HBCUs were divided into three groups that were defined by the percentage of students who took at least one online course during the Fall 2012 semester. 
  • The "Zero" group contains HBCUs wherein no students took any online courses during the Fall 2012 semester;

  • The "High" group contain the HBCUs wherein the highest percentage of students took at least one online course. The cutoff was 25.5 percent or greater. There were 20 HBCUs in this group
     
  • The "Middle" group contain the HBCUs wherein the percentage of students who took at least one online course was greater than zero but less than 25.5 percent.
     
  • Most private HBCUs fell into the "Zero" group ... as shown in the second column of Table 2B and the first stacked bar in Figure B ... Indeed, 31 out of 50 private HBCUs reported that none of their students took any online courses during the Fall 2012 semester.
     
  • By contrast, the Zero group contained the fewest number of public HBCUs ... as shown in the second column of Table 2B and the first stacked bar in Figure B ... Only 4 of the 50 HBCUs reported that none of their students took any online courses.
     
  • The largest number of public HBCUs fell into the Middle group, 33 out of 50 ... as shown in the third column of the table and the second stacked column in Figure B.
     
  • Not surprisingly, the smallest number of public and private HBCUs fell into the High group. It's worth noting that there are almost twice as many public HBCUs in this group as private HBCUs, 13 vs. 7 ... as shown in the fourth column of Table 2B and the third stacked bar in Figure B.

Table 2C. Online Shares of HBCUs Enrollments in Middle and High Groups

Type
Num
Middle
HBCUs
Middle
Enroll-
ment
Middle
Online
Middle
Online
Share
Num
High
HBCUs
High
Enroll-
ment
High
Online
High
Online
Share
Public
33
147,237
14,518
9.9%
13
78,182
25,050
32.0%
Private
12
21,752
2,127
9.8%
7
13,405
7,397
55.2%
Total
45
168,989
16,645
9.8%
20
91,587
32,447
35.4%



Tables 2C and Figure C take a closer look at the HBCUs whose students took at least one online course during the Fall 2012 semester, i.e., the Middle and High groups:
  • As per the second column of Table 2C, there were 45 HBCUs in the Middle group, 33 public and 12 private
     
  • The third column and fourth columns provide the total enrollment and the number of students in Middle HBCUs who took at least one online course.
     
  • The fifth column displays the online share, i.e., the percentage of students who took at least one online course -- 9.9% for public HBCUs (14,518/147,237) and 9.8% for private HBCUs (2,127/21,752)
     
  • The sixth column shows that there were 20 HBCUs in the High group, 13 public and 7 private
     
  • The seventh and eighth  columns provide total enrollments and the number of students in High HBCUs who took at least one online course.
     
  • The ninth column displays the online share for High HBCUs, i.e., the percentage of students who took at least one online course -- 32.0% for public HBCUs (25,050/78,182) and 55.2% for private HBCUs (7,397/13,405)

E. Conclusions
  • In the Fall 2012 semester, public HBCUs were more committed to providing their students with online learning opportunities than private HBCUs. As per Table 2A, none of the students at 31 out of 50 private HBCUs took any online courses. By contrast, some of the students at 46 of the 50 public HBCUs took at least one online course during that semester.
     
  • However, a closer examination of the data in Table 2C for the 45 HBCUs in the Middle group shows that there was hardly any difference between the students taking online courses taken at the 33 public HBCUs vs the 12 private HBCUs. The percentage of students taking online courses in both groups was about the same -- 9.9% at the public HBCUs vs. 9.8% at the private HBCUs.
     
  • But among the 20 HBCUs in the High group, the commitment of the 7 private HBCUs to online opportunities was substantially greater than the commitment of the 13 public HBCUs. As shown in Table 2C and Figure C, about one third of the students (32%) who were enrolled in High public HBCUs were taking online courses; whereas more than half (55.2%) of the students attending High private HBCUs were taking online courses.

    Indeed, as shown in Table 1B (below), four of the five HBCUs with the highest online participation rates were private HBCUs (Wilberforce, Hampton, Paine, and Shaw).

     
  • These findings are consistent with the DLL's 2012 survey that identified HBCUs that offered online degrees programs. As shown by the Xs in the unshaded column on the right side of Tables 1A and 1B, nine of the 20 HBCUs in the High group offered online degrees. And as also shown by the Xs in the unshaded columns, 19 of the 23 accredited HBCUs that offered online degrees were public HBCUs. But Hampton University provides an important instance of a private HBCU showing stronger commitment to online programs than public HBCUs. In 2012 Hampton offered 17 online degrees, more than any other HBCU.
     

Appendix ..............................................................................................

Table 1B. IPEDS Data About Students in Online Courses at HBCUs in the Fall 2012 Semester

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
ST
Type
Fall 2012
Enroll
Some
Online
%
Some
Online
2012 online degree programs
Wilberforce University
OH
Private
518
518
100.0%
Hampton University
VA
Private
4,765
3,741
78.5%
y
Paine College
GA
Private
837
436
52.1%
Alcorn State University
MS
Public
3,950
1,867
47.3%
Shaw University
NC
Private
2,183
1,012
46.4%
St Philip's College
TX
Public
10,313
4,209
40.8%
y
Virginia University of Lynchburg
VA
Private
540
202
37.4%
y
Norfolk State University
VA
Public
7,100
2,649
37.3%
y
Bethune-Cookman University
FL
Private
3,543
1,228
34.7%
y
Alabama State University
AL
Public
5,816
1,996
34.3%
Fayetteville State University
NC
Public
6,060
2,057
33.9%
y
University of the Virgin Islands
VI
Public
2,423
755
31.2%
Jackson State University
MS
Public
8,819
2,542
28.8%
y
Gadsden State Community College
AL
Public
5,882
1,634
27.8%
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
AR
Public
2,828
767
27.1%
North Carolina Central University
NC
Public
8,604
2,314
26.9%
y
Grambling State University
LA
Public
5,277
1,391
26.4%
Winston-Salem State University
NC
Public
5,689
1,485
26.1%
y
Bowie State University
MD
Public
5,421
1,384
25.5%
Stillman College
AL
Private
1,019
260
25.5%
Wiley College
TX
Private
1,401
310
22.1%
Prairie View A & M University
TX
Public
8,336
1,826
21.9%
y
Talladega College
AL
Private
1,203
256
21.3%
West Virginia State University
WV
Public
2,644
514
19.4%
Fort Valley State University
GA
Public
3,568
691
19.4%
y
Bluefield State College
WV
Public
1,935
364
18.8%
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
MD
Public
4,454
823
18.5%
Lincoln University
MO
Public
3,205
576
18.0%
Langston University
OK
Public
2,518
410
16.3%
y
Paul Quinn College
TX
Private
192
31
16.1%
North Carolina A & T State University
NC
Public
10,636
1,700
16.0%
y
Bishop State Community College
AL
Public
3,791
602
15.9%
Central State University
OH
Public
2,152
337
15.7%
Kentucky State University
KY
Public
2,524
390
15.5%
y
Fisk University
TN
Private
620
87
14.0%
South Carolina State University
SC
Public
3,807
528
13.9%
H Councill Trenholm State Technical College
AL
Public
1,445
193
13.4%
Shelton State Community College
AL
Public
5,104
666
13.0%
Interdenominational Theological Center
GA
Private
827
105
12.7%
Southern University and A & M College
LA
Public
6,397
787
12.3%
y
Southern University at New Orleans
LA
Public
2,820
336
11.9%
Savannah State University
GA
Public
4,582
493
10.8%
Albany State University
GA
Public
4,275
445
10.4%
y
Texas Southern University
TX
Public
9,646
984
10.2%
y
J F Drake State Community and Technical College
AL
Public
1,248
127
10.2%
Howard University
DC
Private
10,002
994
9.9%
y
Elizabeth City State University
NC
Public
2,878
268
9.3%
Johnson C Smith University
NC
Private
1,669
154
9.2%
Edward Waters College
FL
Private
925
81
8.8%
Coahoma Community College
MS
Public
2,305
181
7.9%
Huston-Tillotson University
TX
Private
918
69
7.5%
Southern University at Shreveport
LA
Public
2,937
210
7.2%
Mississippi Valley State University
MS
Public
2,479
131
5.3%
y
Concordia College Alabama
AL
Private
611
32
5.2%
Coppin State University
MD
Public
3,612
179
5.0%
Harris-Stowe State University
MO
Public
1,484
72
4.9%
University of the District of Columbia
DC
Public
5,110
171
3.3%
Morgan State University
MD
Public
7,952
210
2.6%
y
Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus
AL
Public
3,419
86
2.5%
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
FL
Public
12,057
134
1.1%
y
Southwestern Christian College
TX
Private
206
2
1.0%
Delaware State University
DE
Public
4,324
36
0.8%
Alabama A & M University
AL
Public
4,853
25
0.5%
Tennessee State University
TN
Public
8,740
23
0.3%
y
Xavier University of Louisiana
LA
Private
3,178
6
0.2%
Allen University
SC
Private
672
0
0.0%
Arkansas Baptist College
AR
Private
1,082
0
0.0%
Benedict College
SC
Private
2,917
0
0.0%
Bennett College
NC
Private
707
0
0.0%
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
PA
Public
1,284
0
0.0%
Claflin University
SC
Private
1,946
0
0.0%
Clark Atlanta University
GA
Private
3,419
0
0.0%
Clinton College
SC
Private
139
0
0.0%
Denmark Technical College
SC
Public
2,003
0
0.0%
Dillard University
LA
Private
1,307
0
0.0%
Florida Memorial University
FL
Private
1,579
0
0.0%
Jarvis Christian College
TX
Private
603
0
0.0%
Lane College
TN
Private
1,512
0
0.0%
Le Moyne-Owen College
TN
Private
1,078
0
0.0%
Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
PA
Public
2,101
0
0.0%
Livingstone College
NC
Private
1,111
0
0.0%
Meharry Medical College
TN
Private
782
0
0.0%
Miles College
AL
Private
1,691
0
0.0%
Morehouse College
GA
Private
2,374
0
0.0%
Morehouse School of Medicine
GA
Private
360
0
0.0%
Morris College
SC
Private
874
0
0.0%
Oakwood University
AL
Private
2,019
0
0.0%
Philander Smith College
AR
Private
666
0
0.0%
Rust College
MS
Private
934
0
0.0%
Saint Augustine's University
NC
Private
1,442
0
0.0%
Saint Pauls College
VA
Private
112
0
0.0%
Selma University
AL
Private
643
0
0.0%
Shorter College
AR
Private
52
0
0.0%
Spelman College
GA
Private
2,145
0
0.0%
Texas College
TX
Private
845
0
0.0%
Tougaloo College
MS
Private
972
0
0.0%
Y
Tuskegee University
AL
Private
3,117
0
0.0%
Virginia State University
VA
Public
6,208
0
0.0%
Virginia Union University
VA
Private
1,751
0
0.0%
Voorhees College
SC
Private
648
0
0.0%