"What's exciting that we are involved in is moving toward online education," said Domenico Grasso, vice president for research and dean of the graduate college at UVM.
The university is working to get a number of online degree programs off the ground for the first time. But transitioning from a bricks-and-mortar education to one that's centered on the web can come with hurdles, like concerns about quality.
Students, faculty and alums protested at the University of Virginia last summer when trustees pushed for a faster move online than the measured approach its president wanted. UVM watched the debate closely and is aiming for the latter.
"We're working very closely with our faculty senate here and working with faculty members here to make sure that we do a similar, thoughtful approach to moving into online education, making sure that it is high quality education, something that is value-added and reaches an important population," Grasso said.
Online degree programs in business, IT and health care have been underway at Champlain College since the 1990s.
"We believe online really offers the working adult a chance to advance in their career, offers communities a chance to have access where education fits within their life, fits within what they're juggling and also allows them to really apply it to their workforce," said Jayson Boyers, the executive director of continuing and professional studies at Champlain College.
Boyers says about 800 people are enrolled online at anytime and that having the option is allowing his students to find success in an environment that suits them best.
"I think it common sense that this is part of the portfolio of higher education. I am always reluctant to say that one is better than the other," Boyers said.
UVM says it plans to start with programs in health and environmental leadership. It will have to spend money to get them going, but is confident the effort will turn a profit. It can't say when or how much they'll be charging new online learners.
"Now that you are dealing in a marketplace that is in the cyberworld, you are competing with other schools that are priced in a very different competitive market. Some schools offer degrees at the same rate of their residential program, others don't," Grasso said.
UVM hopes to get the new online effort up and running within the year.
UVM says an additional challenge to making the move online will be to train faculty in how to transition from the classroom to the web.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-03-11 21:59:43 GMT
"You know, people say you might not need it, which is true, but this way you get a choice. I don't have to go out tomorrow," said Lorinda Henry of Milton. Henry says she hit the grocery stores TuesdayMore >>
Parts of Vermont could get up to 24 inches of snow in the coming storm. And VTrans officials are warning drivers they may not be able to keep up with the storm rolling in Wednesday.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:49:17 GMT
A Plattsburgh woman faces charges for allegedly attacking someone with a knife. New York State Police were called to the Best Value Inn on Booth Drive Sunday night for a report of a domestic dispute. InvestigatorsMore >>
A Plattsburgh woman faces charges for allegedly attacking someone with a knife.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:14:46 GMT
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street in Burlington Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly 300 dollars from him. Police arrested 29-year-olds Andre Martel and Anthony HammondMore >>
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly $300 from him.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:01:29 GMT
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison. Police say Christopher Bush topped speeds of 100-miles-per-hour in a stolen SUV. The 27 year old pleadedMore >>
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:58:56 GMT
Vermont State Police dive teams will search Otter Creek Tuesday for a missing Proctor woman. Maryann Foster, 59, went missing the week of Feb. 24 and there has been no luck finding her yet. Police sayMore >>
Vermont State Police dive teams will search Otter Creek Tuesday for a missing Proctor woman.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:07:01 GMT
"Seems like it was just yesterday. Doesn't seem like it's been two years at all," said Glenda Reandeau of Tupper Lake. Residents of Tupper Lake still have their eyes out for Colin Gillis, a now 20-year-oldMore >>
Colin Gillis of Tupper Lake, N.Y., disappeared two years ago. And authorities are still searching for him. They say the investigation now focuses on tips from the public and from those who were the last to see Gillis.More >>