hybrid degree programs in Connecticut

A Guide to Hybrid Degree Programs: What Students Should Know

The emergence of the global Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 resulted in massive social distancing and isolation mandates. To stop the spread of the virus, seemingly overnight, the world shifted. All at once, many things that seemed familiar had significantly changed — especially regarding higher education norms and the number of students enrolled in online and hybrid classes.

In 2020, the number of undergraduate students enrolled in at least one online course was 97% higher than the previous year. With e-learning in effect, 14.1 million postsecondary students enrolled in a minimum of one distance education course, as identified by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Furthermore, 5.4 million of those learners (39%) were earning hybrid degrees — enrolled in some online classes but not exclusively virtual programs.

Hybrid degree programs have grown in interest since then, as they offer students a flexible and versatile means for earning a college education. Students can enjoy the accessibility of online classes, while still benefiting from the hands-on experiences and relationships available on campus.

Read on to learn more about the highlights of hybrid degree programs, including answers to the following inquiries:

  • What is a hybrid program?
  • How does a hybrid degree program work?
  • What is the difference between hybrid vs. online degrees?
  • What are the benefits of a hybrid format?
  • Examples of hybrid programs

What is a Hybrid Program?

A hybrid program, otherwise known as a blended program, is an academic course of study delivered through a blend of online and on-campus classes.

Typically, online courses are administered through a learning management system, where students can access course materials (usually divided into modules), complete exams, participate in digital group discussions, and submit assignments for grading and feedback.

Hybrid programs commonly have in-person components because face-to-face instruction is essential for specific areas of study, like health and science-based majors.

Hybrid classes also assist learners in gaining confidence and an overall understanding of hands-on concepts like professional presentations, clinical requirements, and complex lab work.

For hybrid learners, coming to class on campus can also provide students with additional time to connect with instructors and network with peers.

How Does a Hybrid Degree Program Work?

Hybrid program formats and requirements vary per school and program. While some in-person classroom requirements can be completed over the entirety of the program, other mandated classroom hours can be observed by attending immersion weekends, where students meet most on-campus hours at once.

Online learning also has two types of structures — asynchronous and synchronous. In asynchronous classes, students have set due dates and can learn the subject material independently and at their own pace.

In synchronous courses, however, learners attend live-streamed lectures at a continually set time and schedule. Synchronous classes often require some element of student participation, and learners may be called on to answer questions or lead class discussions.

What is the Difference Between Hybrid vs. Online Degrees?

When compared to online programs, hybrid degree programs generally have smaller student-to-teacher ratios to make in-person learning accessible to all. When hybrid learners attend on-campus class sessions, they have the opportunity to ask questions and clarify course material, collaborate on group projects, and review the curriculum with their classmates.

Hybrid and online learners alike often log into their learning management systems, view assignments and messages, read supplemental materials, check their grades, participate in discussion boards, and watch live or pre-recorded video lectures.

An exclusively online program has no in-person requirements, such as on-campus immersion weekends, introductory orientations, clinical labs, internships, or residencies.

What are the Benefits of a Hybrid Format?

Hybrid degree programs allow for socialization with professors and peers, as well as solitude for studying. They promote flexibility and self-paced learning, but still ensure a practical component of the coursework. Therefore, hybrid instruction is an ideal, convenient option for adult learners, caregivers, introverted personality types, and working students.

If prospective students are considering a completely online degree program, hybrid courses can act as a significant first step to see if an online format is a good fit.

Hybrid learners are generally presented with lecture content during the online portions of their degree program. With their education easily accessible, students can rewatch and review class curricula as needed for further clarification.

The flexible off-campus scheduling of hybrid programs saves students on commute time and transportation costs. Learners can also complete their degrees in the comfort of their homes while still connecting with classmates in person.

Examples of Hybrid Programs in Higher Education

The reality is that no two learners acquire and retain information the same. Luckily, hybrid learning includes the best of both worlds.

For those who favor learning audibly, recorded lectures in hybrid programs are an added benefit. For students who learn best visually, class slides and presentations prove effective. Designated class hours can also be beyond helpful for hybrid learners who study best when collaborating with others.

Similarly, innovative institutions like Goodwin University recognize each student’s unique learning needs. As a result, instructors apply the Universal Design for Learning academic framework, providing all students with individualized instruction and interactive curricula while authentically honoring learner inclusivity.

Goodwin programs with courses in hybrid formats include:


Associate Degrees

Bachelor’s Degrees

Master’s Degree

Today, hybrid degree programs help learners accomplish their educational goals. With the accessibility to fit classwork into their calendar, alums of hybrid degree programs are aptly prepared to cross the graduation stage and enter the professional fields they love.

Do you want to hear more about hybrid degree programs? Discover the difference of hybrid learning at Goodwin!

(Course sections noted with an ‘H’ are delivered in a hybrid format.)