LA MIRADA, CALIF. — Biola University will discontinue eight of the 11 undergraduate online programs — B.S. in Organizational Leadership, Public Relations and Digital Media Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, Entertainment Business, Early Childhood, Communication, Applied Public Health and Biblical Ministries. Biola will no longer accept new students into the programs starting Spring 2023.
The school has experienced a combination of pressures in recent years that have contributed to a drop in enrollment as well as escalating costs. All of this has also come against the larger backdrop of a global pandemic. These pressures are replicated throughout much of Christian higher education, but have also taken on their own particular form at Biola. For those reasons, Biola’s leadership has made a number of decisions in order to align the university to the current student population and close under-enrolled programs that are no longer sustainable for the university.
The enrollment numbers have remained low in these programs, and consequently have not reached the projected enrollment growth goals. The university can no longer sustain programs with low enrollment and low market demand. The programs are guaranteed for teach-out of current students. All current students in the eight programs will be able to complete their degrees within three years.
In September 2014, Biola launched its first online program — the Applied Psychology Completion Program — and over the years has expanded online offerings. The majority of the programs have not delivered the necessary revenues to justify their ongoing costs. However, Biola will continue to offer three online programs that have had high enrollment and increased interest — Applied Psychology, Business Management and Bible, Theology and Apologetics.
“Biola will continue to develop online classes for undergraduate students in our on-campus degree programs,” said Dr. Matthew J. Hall, Provost and Senior Vice President. “We are committed to being a university that continues to innovate and to deliver a Christ-centered education that is increasingly accessible. Furthermore, we continue to believe that Biola University can and must be a leading institution in those online graduate programs where we have a competitive advantage. These closures will free up margin to make Biola even more competitive in those areas where we have the most opportunity.”
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