Skip to main content

Request info

Oregon State University’s Class of 2024 features record-setting number of online learners

For the first time, OSU’s annual graduating class includes more than 2,000 students who earned a degree online

June 13, 2024

The soft smile on Tania Davis’ face was telling. It revealed a lifetime of gratitude for a woman she hadn’t seen or talked to in decades.

Davis spoke of a Massachusetts social worker who — alongside the love and support she received from her ailing mother and grandmother growing up — helped ensure Davis succeeded in school, attended camps, played sports and enrolled in drama classes.

She remembered the woman’s passion for giving children the support they needed, a passion that inspires Davis to this day. But it had been so long. Could she remember her name?

“Elizabeth Hastie,” she recalled in an instant. “H-a-s-t-i-e. I will never forget her name.”

Tania Davis is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences from Oregon State.

And with good reason. When Davis participates in Oregon State University’s Commencement ceremony on Saturday, she will receive a diploma that propels her closer to a career supporting families in need the same way Hastie helped hers as a child.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences online through Oregon State Ecampus. She is one of the 2,049 Ecampus students who will take part in commencement this weekend — representing 26.8% of all OSU graduates this year (7,648).

That means 1 in 4 graduates in Oregon State’s Class of 2024 completed their degree online, and it marks the first year that the number of students who earned a degree online has exceeded 2,000.

Many of those learners are like Davis, a working professional who took classes while raising children and caring for family. She moved from Georgia to Oregon in the midst of her studies, and throughout the process she gained skills that will further prepare her to realize her goal of helping at-risk youth and women.

She plans to enroll in a master’s in counseling program, with the long-term goal of opening a youth center in her community.

“Kids don’t have a lot of the resources they used to have, and I want to be a source of support,” said Davis, who was born in Jamaica. “Sometimes they just need to get over that hump and feel that somebody has their back. I was that child, and now I want to give them whatever they lack so children and families can live a sustainable life.

“I feel like Oregon State and my degree program have given me the skills I need to make that happen.”

OSU’s online learners live in all 50 states and 60 countries. Students in the Ecampus Class of 2024 earned degrees in 61 academic programs, which is an indicator of the breadth of OSU students’ educational and career interests.

“This year’s Ecampus graduates inspire all of us through their hard work and commitment to advancing their careers and making a difference in their communities,” said Lisa L. Templeton, the vice provost for OSU’s Division of Educational Ventures. “Oregon State’s new strategic plan sets an ambitious goal of helping every student graduate, and this record-breaking class is progress toward increased student success.”

Many of this year’s 2,049 Ecampus graduates are notable for their success. That includes Carla Perscky, a U.S. Navy veteran from Florida who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences. Her online degree program’s experiential learning requirement led to a National Science Foundation internship and opportunities to conduct research while traveling abroad with a faculty mentor from the University of Central Florida.

That helped Perscky kick-start a successful career in conservation during the course of her Oregon State studies. She will travel to Corvallis for graduation and give a speech at OSU President Jayathi Murthy’s annual commencement dinner.

“The quality of education at Oregon State impacted my life because it has prepared me to achieve my goals to help mitigate climate change in Florida,” said Perscky, who will start graduate school this fall.

More than 15,000 students have now earned an Oregon State degree online since 2002.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *