New Study: StraighterLine Course Quality Is Top-Notch

Barry Lenson

New Study: StraighterLine Course Quality Is Top-Notch

StraighterLine recently retained Hezel Associates LLC, a research company, to survey StraighterLine students about their experiences taking our online college courses.  Burck Smith, StraighterLine’s founder, wanted firm data to answer a number of questions. Why had these students decided to take courses at StraighterLine? How satisfied were they with their courses? How did the costs compare to the cost of attending community colleges or other educational institutions? How easy was it for students to transfer the credits they had earned to colleges and universities?

Hezel conducted a web-based survey, sending out 1334 survey invitations to 895 students who had completed StraighterLine courses and 439 students who had started courses, but not completed them. A total of 153 students responded to the survey invitation - 123 course completers and 30 non-completers. The results of the survey reveal a lot about StraighterLine, its students, and the current state of American higher education too.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the results of this survey on this blog. Today, we’ll report what the survey found about one important question  . . .

How do StraighterLine online college courses compare to courses taught elsewhere?

Let’s take a look at what the study found . . .

  • Students expect StraighterLine courses to be rigorous and find that those expectations are met. The survey results show that students are not motivated to take StraighterLine courses because they expect them to be easy. When asked to compare the academic rigor of StraighterLine to other ways of earning college credit, students report that StraighterLine courses are as rigorous as – and sometimes more rigorous than – most other ways of earning college credit.
  •  Overall satisfaction with StraighterLine is very high. In fact, over 90% of respondents indicated that they would recommend the program to a friend (among those who successfully completed). Approaching the question from the other side, 70% of those students who did not complete their course would still recommend StraighterLine to a friend.

And StraighterLine motivates students to complete college too . . .

The study found that nearly three-quarters (71.3%) of the students who completed a StraighterLine online college course felt that taking it made them more likely to complete college. In fact, only one student reported that it made her less likely to complete college. So StraighterLine does more than teach. It also motivates students to finish college.

Download the full report now and read all the findings.

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