Professor Robert Carlisle has been teaching both online and face to face college English courses since 1997. He has helped grow the program at California State University Bakersfield and sees room for even more growth.
"I would say that we need more online courses," Carlisle said. "As I say, there are many students out there that have trouble attending classrooms and these classes definitely make an education within their grasp."
Online courses are an accessible option for some students as they can attend class anywhere, even without an internet connection, and they may soon be even more accessible.
Governor Jerry Brown's proposed budget plan includes $16.9 million for online courses at community colleges and another 10 million for online courses at the University of California and California State University campuses.
That would help with expanding online offerings at campuses around the state, something that state Assemblymember Dan Logue (R, Chico) has been advocating for through his own proposed legislation.
"Technology has changed drastically in the last 50 years," Logue said. "I think the universities have to change with it. I think it offers more students the ability to get an education at a better price. As long as the quality is good I think it's a step in the right direction."
Bakersfield College spokeswoman Amber Chiang says BC has noticed it takes a certain type of student to succeed in an online setting.
"The student has to be motivated," Chiang said. "They have to be disciplined and they have to be ready to work on their own for the majority of the class."
Professor Carlisle traditionally has noticed little difference between his online and offline students.
"I've found that the students in the online classes are doing just as well in the face to face classes"
At Bakersfield College, 66 online courses are currently offered, roughly 5 percent of the college's catalog. With more than 15,000 students enrolled currently, about 2,300 are enrolled in an online course this semester.