Gannon to introduce four online programs

Gannon University plans to offer four exclusively online programs starting in fall 2011. The programs include master of business administration, master of public administration, master of engineering management, and a registered nursing to bachelor of science in nursing. Keith Taylor, Ph.D., Gannon’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the plan is not yet approved but is getting there.

Gannon will partner with Deltak, an e-learning services company that partners with higher education institutions to increase online programs, in this venture. On the business end, the software company will market, recruit and process applications of interested students. Fifteen other colleges are partnered with Deltak.

Taylor said the plan to offer programs online has been one of Gannon’s goals for several years, but issues in recruiting and marketing kept the project from moving forward. Deltak will help in those areas.

Deltak will provide the resources necessary to transition course material online, facilitate professor-to-student communications and supply 24/7 tech support. Although classes will be made available through Deltak’s technology, the course content will be unaffected. The service will be accessed through ANGEL.

When the programs are online, classes will be offered in increments of seven-week sessions, with a week break between each course group. Six total sessions will be offered throughout the year.

Taylor stressed two goals about the importance of the new online programs: reaching out to a new market of students and increasing Gannon’s total enrollment. Projections indicated more than 100 students active in the online programs within the first year.

The online programs are targeted toward working adults and those students who are unable to regularly attend classes. Taylor described the courses as available anytime and anywhere.

“You will be able to access the course anytime you want,” he said.

Although the plan is almost in place, Taylor assures students that the new online programs will not affect Gannon’s current online course offerings. The programs are not meant for on-campus students, however.

“Students will not be able to stay in their rooms all day,” Taylor said.

With this initiative, Gannon could break new ground in educational opportunities. A whole different type of student will now be a part of the Gannon community – the online-only student.


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