Distance Learning | News

Rutgers To Expand Online Degree Programs

New Jersey's Rutgers University will expand its online offerings to include undergraduate and graduate degrees available completely online.

The new program, which will focus initially on master's degrees, is designed "to respond to the most rapidly growing segment of the population seeking higher education--adult, part-time learners who, because of work and family obligations, cannot attend traditional on-campus classes," according to information released by the school.

"We are particularly keen to serve the active military and veterans across the U.S. and around the world," said David Finegold, senior vice president of Lifelong Learning and Strategic Growth, in a news release about the move. "Rutgers Veterans Services frequently receives emails from members of the military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who wish to pursue a Rutgers degree. We will now be in a much better position to meet their educational needs."

Rutgers began offering graduate-level online courses in 1999 and currently enrolls approximately 15,000 students in distance courses each year.

The first programs in the expansion will be available in January and include Master of Education in Learning, Cognition, and Development and Master of Library and Information Science. Spanish, nursing, business, engineering, criminal justice, social work, and other subjects will launch in summer and fall of 2013.

The university is partnering with Pearson to power the initiative, and will use the company's "online learning technology, services, and support to keep students engaged from enrollment through graduation" according to information released by Rutgers. The company will also provide training and resources to help instructors make the transition from the classroom to online courses.

"This public/private partnership helps us meet our responsibility as New Jersey's premier public institution of higher education," said Rutgers President Robert Barchi in a prepared statement. "We will be able to provide the academic rigor and high quality of a Rutgers education to a broader statewide, national, and global group of students who might not otherwise be able to come to our campuses in New Brunswick, Camden or Newark."

To learn more, or to apply for the online courses, visit online.rutgers.edu. More information about Pearson is available at pearson.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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