Few states of its size offer as many higher education options as North Carolina. The Tar Heel state may not be as large in terms of land mass as some of its southern brethren, but with 139 total Title IV degree-granting institutions, including 75 public institutions, spread out across the state; it is one of the most post-secondary education rich states in the country.

North Carolina is also a state that ardently supports its arts and its arts education. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design has accredited six schools in the state and those are just a portion of the art education programs offered by universities and colleges within the state. Some of these universities and colleges have even begun to adopt online art degree programs and classes as technology has advanced and the need for alternative forms of learning has become more pronounced.

East Carolina University offers degrees and certifications completely online in subjects like website development, art education, and music education. The University of North Carolina offers a master’s degree in technology and communication and North Carolina State University offers a master’s degree or certificate in computer science. Even Appalachian State offers an online degree in educational media, and those are only four of the state-specific online art degree programs in North Carolina.

There are also a group of national online education providers that serve North Carolina students. Schools like the Art Institutes, which has a campus in Charlotte; DeVry University, which has a campus in Morrisville; the International Academy of Design and Technology and Full Sail University offer North Carolina students online degree options in subjects from graphic design to professional photography.

Why take online art classes in North Carolina?

If you thought the state’s post-secondary education options were robust, wait until you see the state’s booming creative industry that offers thousands of opportunities for recent online art school graduates looking to start their careers. As of January 2012, North Carolina was home to 23,780 arts-related businesses that employ more than 76,000 people, and these businesses are distributed pretty evenly across the state.

For those who wish to start their art careers in North Carolina, attending online art classes in North Carolina is a good way to start. Not only do these programs and classes offer the opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded students and some of the state’s professional artists, but the local businesses are likely to be familiar with local universities and the type of graduates they produce, giving students who attended online art schools in North Carolina a potential leg up as they begin their job search.

Online Education in North Carolina Overview

While the post-secondary online arts education options in the Tar Heel State are plentiful and reputable, when it comes to online education as a whole, North Carolina still has plenty of work to do at the high school level and below. The state does offer individual online courses,but they are only available to high school students and no one in the state has access to publicly funded full-time virtual schools as of yet. The state is slowly coming around however as they recently addressed the issue of standards for individual online course providers but their lack of student access, infrastructure, and quality instruction hamstrings the growth of online education in the state.

The national campaign for online learning, Digital Learning Now, did not really give North Carolina very good scores on the state report card it put together. While the report card does not account for distance or higher education options, it highlighted North Carolina’s lack of advancement metrics, infrastructure, and disappointing student access and personalized learning as areas where the state falls short currently and in reality the state needs to improve in every area of the report card before online education can really take off.

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