AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - One new report called many private Georgia colleges "dropout factories." An analysis by a think tank found fewer than two-thirds of students at graduate at 27 private colleges in the state.
At Georgia Southwestern State University, online programs play a big role in increasing student graduation and retention rates.
Online degree programs are in high demand at Georgia Southwestern. In fact, more than half of the students in the school of business take their classes online.
Dean of the School of Business Administration Dr. Liz Wilson said there are a lot of benefits to online education.
"We have students not only over the state of Georgia. We have a student taking classes who is stationed in Alaska. We have students pretty much all over," said Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson said the online degree programs align with Governor Nathan Deal's Complete College Georgia initiative to increase graduation levels.
"I certainly think its dovetails really well with Complete College Georgia," said Dr. Wilson.
Online degrees programs are also a great alternative for working professionals and military members.
Pamela Hudson is enrolled in the Master's Program for Business Administration.
"Online was a very convenient option for me since I work full-time and of course I have a family so this allows me to go online when I can," said Hudson.
Many say one of the cons of online is the lack of interaction, but Hudson says it offers more ways to communicate with the professor and other students.
"We actually have a lot of interaction online and it's really hard to hide on an online course such as the discussion post board is very nice to have so that. You can share ideas," said Hudson.
The online environment has its perks for working students.
"I think all of us have this goal of doing, of reaching more students, of educating more people, of getting more people a business degree, a college degree. And so how we get there isn't as important to us as making sure we do it," said Dr. Wilson.
GSW will be adding a new online degree program in Spring 2017.
It will be the first college in the state with a bachelor's degree in business administration through the e-Major program.
GSW's Assistant Professor of Management Dr. Gaynor Cheokas said students can earn the same degree in management, marketing, accounting or human resource management.
"We're extremely excited about this opportunity. Having a chance to add that diversity to our classrooms and having non-traditional students," said Dr. Cheokas.