Online learning can ease economic inequality

By Marc Abelard, MEd December 06, 2017

I saw a Boston Globe editorial last month, entitled “Online learning can ease economic inequality” that caught my eye and I wanted to share some thoughts:

I completely agree that college degrees pay off and oftentimes low-income students are faced with challenges that hinder them from pursuing a traditional higher education degree and programs that offer night and weekend classes.

For these students, online and blended modules may be the best option to ensure they are not left behind. However, another glaring benefit of tapping into online and part-time learning is the roots it will lay for developing the workforce, especially in mental health services.

The mental health workforce is woefully understaffed and lacking in diversity. As an educator at William James College, the largest psychology education institution in New England, I have seen how targeted programs have attracted and helped to build a more diverse workforce that includes veterans who oftentimes have high-quality training from their previous careers.

When more students have access to higher education options, it helps to ensure that the workforce, especially in mental health, will be adequately staffed and diverse enough to serve the needs of our evolving society.

Marc Abelard, MEd
Director, Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Services