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Life sciences degree now offered online

[Kevin Vennesland]
 Kevin Vennesland will soon be completing an online Bachelor of Arts in history through Queen’s. This fall the university will, for the first time, be offering an online Bachelor of Science degree. (Supplied photo)

Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science will begin offering its first online Bachelor of Science degree this fall – a three-year general BSc in Life Sciences.

“Queen’s has a long history of making education accessible to students who are studying at a distance, and we are delighted to be able to offer the university’s first fully online BSc degree in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences,” says Brenda Ravenscroft, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Like the four other online bachelor degree programs offered by the Faculty of Arts and Science – including English, history, psychology, and global development studies – the new online degree is a three-year program. Students, however, can tailor their studies to accommodate their schedules and do not need to finish within three years. All of the Arts and Science online degrees are the equivalent of an on-campus degree.

Dr. Ravenscroft notes that Queen’s is an emerging leader in online learning and has a track record of delivering online courses of a very high quality. The Faculty of Arts and Science has been offering online courses in biology, anatomy and physiology for several years and, more recently, online courses have been developed in chemistry, physics and microbiology. This has enabled the faculty to meet curricular requirements for the life sciences degree through fully online studies.

“The extraordinary developments in educational technology have made it possible for science subjects to be studied online in a way simply not possible before,” says Dr. Ravenscroft. “Sophisticated online resources, such as multimedia simulations of biological processes, allow students to learn about the subjects in a very rich way. All online courses also include activities that encourage student interactions, thereby creating communities of science students.”

The flexibility of an online degree is an attractive option for many students, who for various reasons, can’t be on campus for their studies. This has been the case for Kevin Vennesland, who is close to completing an online Bachelor of Arts in history through Queen’s. Mr. Vennesland juggles his course load with the demands of a young family and several jobs.

“Going to school full-time and in-person just wasn’t practical for me,” says Mr. Vennesland, who lives in Vancouver. “It was important to me to complete my degree – as a testament to my belief in education, to further my career, and as an example I wanted to set for my kids. I was attracted to the Queen’s program for several reasons. The most important was reputation – Queen’s is well-respected, both among students and employers. I also wanted to study history, and after researching extensively, it was clear that Queen’s would deliver exceptional options in this field.”

More information on the online Life Sciences degree, as well as the four other online Bachelor of Arts programs, is available on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences website. Students can apply for the 2015 fall term beginning June 30.

Queen’s recently announced its success in the second round of the Ontario Online Initiative funding competition, which supports the development of online learning courses and modules at Ontario post-secondary institutions.