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Rice to Work with 2U on Launch of Online Business 'Short Courses'

Less than a year after Rice University in Houston announced plans to introduce a new online master of business administration with program management company 2U, the institution said it would work with the company to deliver master's-level "online short courses" in business and management as well. The first short course to be offered by Rice and 2U will be project management, expected to launch this fall. That also will be delivered through the university's school of business.

As is the case with the online MBA, the new short courses will be developed by Rice faculty working with course design experts at 2U. School officials said that students in the courses will receive "personalized, high-touch support." Those who complete the courses will receive a certificate.

MBA@Rice is a hybrid online degree for working professionals that offers the opportunity for students to take "residential intensive learning experiences." Those consist of simulations, are hosted on and off-campus and put participants in touch with peers, faculty and mentors.

"Rice University is meeting the needs of ambitious professionals by offering dynamic business- and management-focused online short courses," said Caroline Levander, Rice's vice president for global and digital strategy, in a prepared statement.

While 2U contracts with university clients to deliver short courses, it also competes with them. According to 2U's 2017 annual report, the company provides some 80 "short courses" through its 2017 acquisition, GetSmarter, which offers online classes from universities around the world. All of the short courses target working professionals seeking career advancement through skills attainment. The courses typically run between six and 16 weeks.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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