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CUNY Investing $8M in Online Education Initiative

The City University of New York is launching CUNY Online, a new online education initiative tasked with producing high-quality online courses and programs and building online degree capacity across the institution. The university is investing $8 million in federal stimulus funds in the project, which will be directed by the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS).

"The shift to online instruction that took place during the pandemic demonstrated the great promise of technology to help us meet students quite literally where they live, but course materials need to be optimized, and best practices incorporated, to realize the full potential of these tools," explained CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodríguez, in a statement. "We are fortunate to be able to lean on the great expertise of CUNY SPS to lead this effort that makes a long-term commitment to the success of students who can benefit from the flexibility of online degree programs and courses."

CUNY Online will supply services and support to develop new online programs and expand existing ones at all 25 CUNY campuses, according to a news announcement. It will offer dedicated personnel (such as instructional designers, production staff and project managers) to support academic content development, course design and delivery effectiveness. It will also provide student support services, including tech support, expanded tutoring and early access to cutting-edge technologies. Courses developed by CUNY Online will be accessible to students at all CUNY institutions and will provide credits that are transferable across all campuses.

The initiative will also work to promote the university's online programs and serve as the primary portal for online enrollment.

"CUNY SPS has long known the need for quality online programs that enable busy students to access their classes and complete their coursework at a time and place that is convenient to them," said CUNY SPS Interim Dean Jorge Silva-Puras. "With CUNY Online, the university has made a forward-thinking investment in online education to ensure that all CUNY colleges may be able to offer more flexible and accessible online learning opportunities. We look forward to bringing our 15-plus years of online expertise to CUNY Online and therefore other campuses within the CUNY community."

CUNY Online plans to launch seven to 10 new online associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs by Spring 2023, and complete a total of 13 to 20 new programs by Fall 2023.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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