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Knoxville – The University of Tennessee is offering more online distance-learning classes, due to growing demand from students.

UT began offering online courses four years ago through its executive master’s degree program in business administration.

A UT associate vice-chancellor says they’re focusing on certain types of classes.

“We’re concentrating on what we call ‘degree completion’ courses, as well as graduate-level programs and opportunities for professional development,” said Dr. Bob Leiter, who also serves as dean of UT’s college of continuing education.

“We’re looking at niche markets, as we move further into distance learning,” Leiter said, “because if we can identify the markets, we can identify the audience.”

The audience consists of people looking for master’s degrees in fields like business administration, nuclear engineering, and information science, Leiter said.

“Last year, we had approximately 63 Internet-based courses for credit and professional development, enrolling over 1,100 participants,” Leiter said. “Next year we expect the numbers of enrolled students to double.”