Why Hybrid Programs May Be for You

There’s no doubt about it—online education is here to stay. Online classes let you learn on your own schedule, allowing you to attend classes whenever and wherever is most convenient for you. More and more graduate degree programs are now being offered virtually, helping students pursue their education remotely.

But while online classes offer several advantages, it’s also clear that in-person courses have benefits! Classes that are taught in-person can give you unparalleled access to the professor as well as to other students and on-campus resources.

And hybrid programs give you the best of both worlds. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Hybrid Programs?

Sometimes called “blended education,” these programs combine online and face-to-face learning. For instance, this can take the form of a course where class is held in-person for a few weeks and then completed online for the rest of the semester. Another phrase you’ll see mentioned when describing some of these programs is “low-residency,” because students are not required to live near the campus to enroll or participate.

Why Hybrid Education Programs Work

There are a number of reasons this style of learning is so effective for graduate students. Consider those pursuing a degree in education. Here are three elements that make hybrid, low-residency programs so effective for future teachers.

1. Convenience. Teachers can now earn their graduate degrees without stepping out of the classroom. Educators shouldn’t need to stop teaching to get the continuing education that will help them succeed. Hybrid opportunities account for the fact that many teachers have busy schedules in the fall, winter, and spring, but may be able to invest more time for in-person classes during the summer months.

2. Innovation. Learning how to teach online can help educators improve their own instruction methods. It’s hard to question that online learning is the future of education; whether preparing to teach elementary students or doctoral candidates, online learning will continue to play an important role. When teachers participate in online learning environments during graduate school, they get to see firsthand how learning can be done effectively online. They’ll see what works and what doesn’t.

3. Connectivity. Hybrid learning opportunities let teachers build friendships with fellow educators in other districts and communities. Classes that are only held on campus tend to draw heavily from nearby school districts. Meanwhile, online courses tend to include fewer opportunities to rub shoulders with peers. In hybrid programs, you’ll get to meet people from a wider geographic pool because students will only need to travel for a limited number of weeks. These relationships will expose you to a wider variety of effective teaching strategies and methods.

Hybrid Programs Available at APU

Azusa Pacific University’s School of Education emphasizes the value of hybrid graduate school opportunities. In some graduate-level education courses, students experience 33 to 50 percent of their coursework online.

APU students can also choose from a number of other hybrid program options, including master’s degrees in art education and higher education leadership.

Other hybrid programs available at APU include:

  • Rehabilitation and Movement Science, Ph.D.: APU offers the only hybrid Ph.D. program in rehabilitation and movement science on the West Coast. Developed to support the continuing education of working professionals, the majority of the program is taught online. Students take two one-week sessions on campus per year and get a rigorous education that prepares them to advance education and research in the field.
  • Master of Fine Arts: This MFA program accommodates working artists by requiring students to be on campus only during specific months. The program encourages students to maintain personal studio time, and it was the first MFA degree within the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to encourage students to integrate their faith, life, and art together.
  • Master of Arts in Screenwriting: Designed with flexibility in mind, this program offers online classes throughout the fall and spring and then in-person on the APU campus in the summer. The program enlists working screenwriters with industry credits in film and television to train students in the field.

Want to find a graduate program that fits your interests and career goals and has hybrid learning potential? Explore the graduate programs on the Azusa Pacific University website.