I have been working at West Virginia University part-time (More than 3 years)
The online program at West Virginia University's Reed College of Media is very structured. All courses follow the same format, with all discussion assignments having the same requirements. The university constructs the course calendar. So, students know what to expect from course to course. This significantly cuts down on student failure.
There are two downsides to working at WVU: 1) If an online course has less than 12 students enrolled in it, they won't run it. If, by some chance, they do (say, for instance, the course has 9 students enrolled), the course compensation will be prorated. 2) Due to West Virginia law, WVU is required to deduct West Virginia state income taxes from every paycheck. I live in NY, but I still have to pay that tax. There are no exemptions. The best you can do is try to secure a refund, but in my 4 years there, I've been unsuccessful in that.
Advice to Management
Run online courses, even if there are only a handful of students in them, especially when you're trying to get new programs of study off the ground. It looks really bad to students when courses constantly don't run because you don't have 12 students registered for them. If it's an online course, you really have very little overhead, so run them.
I applied through college or university. I interviewed at West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV).
I was a master's graduate from WVU applying for PhD program. I had interviews with 3 professors. Most of them were interested to know my research background and explained what their groups are working on.