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Friday, November 06, 2015

Drexel University Online expands program

"Drexel University is continuing to expand online and hybrid education courses by recently transforming their former for-profit Drexel e-Learning Inc. division into the non-profit, Drexel University Online." writes Allison Starr.

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia MCPearson0

“Drexel e-Learning was created nearly 20 years ago as a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the University, responsible for recruiting and enrolling students for its newly launched virtual campus. While that made sense at the time, ongoing tax implications and strategic priorities made it necessary to explore other options,” Susan Aldridge, senior vice president for Online Learning at Drexel and president of Drexel University Online, wrote in an email.

So after two years of intensive discussion, feedback, analysis, and advice, the Drexel University decided to abolish the for-profit DeL, and form a non-profit entity, Drexel University Online or DUO,” Aldridge continued.

DUO employs more than 80 individuals who comprise eight primary departments. Its restructuring will showcase enhanced responsibilities beyond simple recruitment and enrollment of online students.

“[DUO will now] include conducting research around emerging areas for online program expansion, as well as collaborating with faculty to design virtual courses,”Aldridge explained, delving into the program’s re-structuring.

She went on to state that some of these areas included onboarding and orientation support for virtual students, emphasizing that Drexel was one of the first universities in the country to offer this kind of model.

Aldridge also highlighted how far the online program has advanced since it’s initial conception in 1996.

“Back then courses were little more than a series of hand-outs published and delivered online–which meant that virtual study was, for the most part, a pretty solitary experience that relied solely on a student’s ability to passively absorb information,” Aldridge wrote. Now, Aldridge said there are a variety of interactive technologies, forums, videoconferences and simulations coordinated with online courses.
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Source: Drexel University The Triangle Online