Adult-Friendly College of the Week: Southern New Hampshire University

This week we’re focusing in on a school that’s evolved from a non player in online education just 10 years ago into one of the most forward edge of all non-profit schools that offer digital learning.

Southern New Hampshire University, an 80-year old private school not to be confused with the state’s public university system, has clearly shed any institutional resistance to teaching over the internet. The rap against non-profits for years has been that they can’t complete with Phoenix, Capella and other leaders in the space because professors and administrators don’t want their world (and their tenure system) rocked by the changes it tends to bring. But SNHU’s president has managed to get the school fully engaged in online teaching, and has brought in tech upgrades that make it very competitive with the for-profit school – and that leverage the kind of one on one care that’s the hallmark of private colleges.

A new software system at the school, for example, tracks a raft of factors that affect student success metrics, right down to how much each online student is contributing to boards that host class discussions. Student advisers are warned automatically if a student starts to slip. Even teacher involvement in the overall online class experience is tracked closely.

It’s a refreshing case of a school focusing on what happens after the students enroll rather than on recruitment. The results look good so far: the percentage of students who continue on to a second year of classes after finishing their first has doubled at the school since 2008.

SNHU does make money on its programs, and it’s not hesitant to talk about its long term “business plans” in digital teaching. But without the kind of pressure to drive higher and higher profits that some if its competitors face, it seems well positioned as a lead dog that’s going to show other non-profits how to succeed with students who learn off-campus.

SNHU focuses largely on master’s degrees online:
– 40 MBA programs
– Numerous International MBA degrees
– MA’s in various aspects of Creative Writing
– MS in Justice Studies
– MS in Information Technology, various specialties

Learn more here about degrees at SNHU

Top Schools Specializing In Online Degrees

Kaplan University
A very large and well-known school with over 40,000 students on 11 campuses and in a large online degree program, and top quality accreditation. Offers a very wide range of bachelor's, master's and associates degrees in:
- Criminal Justice
- Education
- Health Care
- Nursing
- Computer Technology
- Information Systems
- Legal Studies
Learn more about Kaplan's degree programs

Ashford University
Iowa-based school established in 1918, Ashford offers a vast array of online degrees online across the range from associate to bachelor and masters, in addition to it's campus-based programs. (Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, Degrees available in:
- Business Management - BA & MBA in 19 different specialties
- Early Childhood Education
- Marketing
- Health Care Studies
- Homeland Security
- Psychology
- Sports Managment
Get information on Ashford's online programs

Colorado Technical University
CTU is a large institution based on Colorado Springs with over 25,000 students. It has solid regional accreditation (the best kind) and has been ranked #1 Best for Vets in the category for online and non-traditional universities by Military Times Magazine. Offers associate's and bachelor's degrees online in
- Criminal Justice (multiple specialties)
- Business
- Accounting
- Project Management
- Information Systems (multiple specialties)
- Logistics
- Psychology
Learn more about Colorado Tech's degree programs