Why take online art classes in Tennessee?
While metropolitan areas like Memphis and Nashville and Knoxville are densely populated, Tennessee is still a rather rural state with nearly 33 percent of the population living in what the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as rural areas. Aspiring art students from these areas want to be the afforded the same options that students in urban areas get, and online art classes level the playing field, making distance a non-issue.
The state also is come to thriving art communities across the state. Nashville’s artistic credentials speak for themselves and cities like Memphis and Huntsville and Knoxville all offer a diverse array of art opportunities. And overall, according to Americans for the Arts, Tennessee is home to 16,197 arts-related businesses that employ nearly 60,000 people across the state. So students looking to stay in-state once they graduate will already be familiar with the arts landscape and should have options to choose from.
Online Education in Tennessee Overview
Despite its expansive listings of higher education courses and degrees through the University System, Tennessee policymakers still haven’t fully committed to online education in the state. The state does offer full-time virtual school statewide, but not individual online classes, or part-time enrollment. They also were forced to drop their statewide online high school program when line-item funding was eliminated.
These issues obviously forced the national digital learning campaign, Digital Learning Now, to give the Volunteer State less than ideal scores on its digital report card. They note the state’s efforts to knock down barriers to access, but they also do not give the state high scores when it comes to funding or infrastructure.
If Tennessee really wants to commit to online education, it will need to keep a more open mind about the benefits and accountability successes of online learning.