Raphael, Amy B.
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The purpose of this study was to examine what online learners express as their perceived needs with regard to the usual student support services that exist for students attending on-campus classes. This study also explored to what extent online learners, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, express that their student support services needs are being met. There is a gap in the literature regarding support services for online learners and no discussion of comprehensive student support services. Moreover, the current published literature surrounding distance learners has not focused on the needs of those students solely seeking degrees online. An online survey was conducted between November 1, 2004 and December 15, 2004. Results were analyzed based on status in school (undergraduate or graduate), age, and sex. All significant results were reported and discussed. The results of this study have various implications for student affairs administrators who support online learners and graduate preparation faculty who work with new professionals. As services are developed, consideration for differences in need based on status, ages, and sex of an institution’s student population should be given. Results such as those from this study can be utilized as a basis for discussion between graduate preparation faculty and upcoming new professionals regarding the importance and need for such student services. Future research in the area of student support services for distance learners is needed. In particular, a larger sample size is needed to better understand the need for services for those students solely seeking their degree online.