For more than a decade, thousands of Rutgers University students have been able to broaden their educations by taking a wide range of online courses offered by the university.
Now Rutgers is preparing to significantly expand the reach of the university’s online curriculum to even more students across New Jersey and beyond.
The university today announced a new public/private partnership with Pearson, provider of educational technology, content and services, which positions the university to significantly expand lifelong learning opportunities — including undergraduate and graduate degrees available entirely online — while maintaining access to the same level of academic quality that is offered in the traditional Rutgers classroom.
Rutgers will work with Pearson 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. The degrees will be in a wide range of disciplines and initially will focus on the Master’s level.
By providing fully online graduate programs taught by university faculty, a Rutgers degree becomes available to students wherever they are.
“This public/private partnership helps us meet our responsibility as New Jersey’s premier public institution of higher education,” said Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi. “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.”
“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. “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 has offered online courses since 1999, initially only at the graduate level. Currently, there are more than 15,000 enrollments each year in online courses. The new partnership with Pearson will enable Rutgers to increase the number and features of fully online degree programs, enrollments and the geographical reach of Rutgers online.
The first expanded graduate programs — Master of Education in Learning, Cognition and Development and Master of Library and Information Science — will be available in January 2013. Students interested in enrolling can go to http://online.rutgers.edu for more information.
Additional programs in Spanish, nursing, business, engineering, criminal justice, social work and other subjects are expected to begin enrolling students for summer and fall 2013 courses.
Pearson was chosen through a selective bidding process. Rutgers will leverage Pearson’s online learning technology, services and support to keep students engaged from enrollment through graduation. The university will also work with Pearson to provide training and resources to assist faculty as they move between classroom and online instruction.
“We’re committed to provide institutions of higher education the best resources available to support their online learning programs,” said Don Kilburn, Vice Chairman of Pearson Higher Education. “We want to propel Rutgers’ graduate programs to new levels of service and excellence and help more students gain the education they need to compete in today’s job market.”