CSM Ranks Fourth Best Online Community College in Maryland for 2020

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) was named the fourth best online community college in Maryland based on affordability and convenience. The ranking comes from OnlineU and was based on 2020 program data including available degrees, tuition rates and programmatic accreditations, and profit statuses collected from accreditation agencies or from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

As a pioneer of distance learning, it was easy for CSM to continue its 20-year tradition of offering flexible online choices when the nation’s public and private school systems, and colleges, were required to lift all classes to an entirely remote environment to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in March 2020. In fact, CSM was a founding partner in the MarylandOnline (MOL) organization created in 1999 – which remains a consortium of Maryland’s 16 community colleges, plus a few four-year institutions, dedicated to providing high quality online learning.

“[These] community colleges in the state of Maryland make it possible for their students to earn an associate degree or certificate entirely online,” OnlineU posted when releasing the rankings. “Ten of the schools on this list have annual tuitions under $4,000, so attending these online community colleges is both affordable and convenient.”

CSM’s Online Choices

CSM’s spring semester begins Jan. 19 and the public is invited to learn more about the college’s many degree and certificate programs during a Jan. 12 info session. All of CSM’s credit classes during the spring 2021 semester will be taught primarily in a virtual environment. There will be differences, however, in how CSM’s various course offerings will be presented. The classes will be offered via Real-Time Technology, web-based or in a hybrid fashion.

  • Web-based courses take place completely in a virtual environment, with no set or required meeting days or times. CSM has offered these classes for years, but now they are listed with a location of “Virtual Campus.” Each term has a start and end date, but these classes do not have regularly scheduled dates and times for students to log in.
  • Real-Time Technology (RTT) courses take place in a virtual environment, with scheduled meeting days and times for live lectures and class activities. The campus location may be either a specific physical campus (La Plata, Leonardtown, Prince Frederick or Regional Hughesville) or the new “Virtual Campus.”
  • Hybrid courses combine distance learning and in-person instructionSome on-campus instruction or activity is mandatory for these courses, in order to meet requirements that can’t be fulfilled remotely. Examples of the classes that may requirement on-campus instruction include courses for Emergency Medical Technicians or involving the trades and construction. Hybrid courses have physical campus locations for the on-campus component; have start and end dates; and have specific meeting days and times.

Learn more at https://www.csmd.edu/apply-register/.

Calendar: Enrollment Information Session: 6 p.m. Jan 12. Zoom. Future students with an interest in attending CSM are invited ask your important questions about our flexible learning classrooms, our curriculum, and how we can help you achieve your educational and career goals. RSVPs are required to access Zoom information. Free. https://www.csmd.edu/calendar/admissions/2021-01-12_infosession

About OnlineU: Since 2004, OnlineU has been helping students accomplish their educational goals by finding the online degree with the best value. By providing manually researched tuitions and salary data from alumni in their college rankings, as well as collecting over 13,000 reviews from online students, OnlineU hopes to empower more Americans to go to college while lowering the overall cost of earning a degree. OnlineU’s rankings have been recognized by more than 475 colleges.