Skip to Content

Education Online Degree Completion (Distance Learning)

Apply Today!

Distance Learning is an innovative program offered by William Penn University’s Education Division to reach non-traditional students. The program overcomes the barriers non-traditional students face in obtaining their teaching degrees and endorsements. It provides the tools and support to help students fulfill their dreams. To find out more, request information with our Office of Admissions.

If you are an Administrator

Elementary Education

Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education classes meet evenings & alternate Saturdays. Special education, reading and ESL endorsements are available.

Physical Education, Health, Coaching

Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education (K-8)(5-12), Health (5-12) and Athletic Coaching (K-12) classes are now available through the Distance Learning Program. Classes meet evenings and alternate Saturdays.

Reading Endorsements

Reading (K-8), a 27 credit hour program, and Reading (5-12), a 25 credit hour program, are options for educators who would like to add a Reading endorsement to a current Iowa educator’s license.

Strategist Endorsements

Strategist I (K-8) and Strategist I (5-12) are 26 credit hour programs for teachers looking to add the Strategist I endorsements to a current Iowa educator’s license.

Student Profile

Kayla Rohr

William Penn University elementary education senior Kayla Rohr’s college experience has been anything but traditional – but as she continues pushing forward on her educational journey, there’s nothing she would trade it for.

A single mother, Rohr was drawn to Penn’s distance learning program’s flexibility and the instructors’ willingness to work around the busy schedules of students with jobs, families and entire lives happening outside of school.

“You have the freedom to have a full-time job, to make it to events that you need to make it to,” she said. “They want you to be in a quiet environment [for class on Zoom], but there is that flexibility because they understand that as a parent, you want to be there for your kids.”

Rohr had given college a whirl twice before finding Penn, but the timing just wasn’t right for her. When she discovered WPU a few years later, the pieces started to fall into place.

“Ever since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “I don’t think I had the maturity or the confidence to go about it the first time around.”

Rohr started her education at Malone University in Ohio for a few years before deciding to take a summer off, which turned into a year off. She eventually went for round two at Regent University in Virginia. “I think my confidence was down a little bit and I wasn’t quite sure if [teaching] is what I wanted to do [when I was at Regent]. After having my daughter and realizing that I want her to be proud of me, I want to have a career, it just really reinforced that education is very important to me.”

The distance learning program at WPU gave Rohr the flexibility and push she needed to resume and complete her teaching degree at a time when she wasn’t even sure she was ready to jump back into it.

“I really appreciate that [William Penn University is] very personable,” Rohr said,

adding that the ability to speak so quickly and personally with individuals in the department aided in her quick decision to jump back into her degree with Penn. “I was really nervous [before I applied]. I was thinking maybe in a year I’ll go back, like I was just getting information on the program… I reached out to William Penn and within a week I was talking to advisors, people in the education program. They reached out to me, they Zoomed with me and encouraged me to just apply.”

And so, apply she did. Within two weeks of contacting the department, Rohr was starting her online classes at WPU.

As she now competes her degree in elementary education, Rohr reflects on her experience and the opened doors that made it possible.

Though the program’s flexibility is what drew Rohr to it, its quality of education and focus on teacher preparedness have allowed her to excel in and complete the program, gaining valuable experiences and an education in a way that other universities may not have offered.

“All of the professors are amazing,” she said. “I really appreciate that a lot of them are still in the education realm or they are just shortly leaving the education realm so they are really up-to-date. They have lots of relevant material to bring to all of our classes. That is really nice, because they have so many experiences that they can pull from… I’ve had professors in the past who maybe have gotten out of touch with current teaching strategies or science of how children learn because they haven’t been in the classroom for years; they’ve been professors. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s something just very refreshing about learning from professors who care about teaching, are still teaching.”

Because of her time at Penn and those who helped her through it, Rohr looks forward to soon sharing that same passion of teaching with her own future students.

To other non-traditional students considering working towards a degree, she has just one piece of advice: “It’s definitely more possible than you think it is.”

Keep reading
For more information on these programs, please contact:

Aaron Hinnah, Distance Learning Academic Advisor
641-673-1336 email

Will Utter, Distance Learning Admissions Counselor
641-673-1305, email

For more information about endorsements please contact:
Shane Ehresman, Director of Distance Learning

Distance Learning Program Application

Mail applications to:
Distance Learning
William Penn University
201 Trueblood Avenue
Oskaloosa, IA 52577

Fax applications to: 641-673-1041

Distance Learning

NameOffice PhoneEmailTitleOffice
Shane Ehresman, Ed.S.641-673-1193emailAssistant Professor | Director of Distance LearningPenn 110D
Aaron Hinnah, M.B.L., M.S.M.641-673-1336emailDistance Learning Lead Academic Advisor | Assistant Football CoachPenn 110B