Students flocking to online study as a flexible way to work for degree

Amy Rolph:

Forget those uncomfortable, plastic classroom chairs and their 12-inch, fold-down, wannabe-desk extensions.
Millions of college students around the country attend class from living-room sofas, kitchen tables, home offices and even park benches — part of an ever-escalating trend of attending school online.
The trend is being set largely by community colleges, with their propensity for nontraditional students who need an easier, more flexible way to earn degrees. The number of students taking online classes in Washington has jumped 75 percent in just four years.
In Seattle, North Seattle Community College is leading the way with a course catalog that lists an increasing number of online options.
Sabrina Hutchinson, a busy staffing account manager and recruiter who works as an event planner on the side, enrolled at North Seattle this quarter to see whether she could juggle two jobs and college classes. It had been more than a decade since Hutchinson attended college. She decided on the high-tech option: an online course examining how the study of dinosaurs overlaps with a number of scientific fields.