Friday, October 29, 2010

ASU partners with Pearson to boost online presence

Arizona State University is beginning an aggressive push to increase online student enrollment.
It is partnering with Pearson eCollege, part of Britain-based Pearson, a global leader in education, technology and services that occupies a large office building at Loop 101 and Ray Road in Chandler.
"ASU is partnering with Pearson eCollege in order to rapidly accelerate the development of high-quality course work and achieve enrollment goals of 17,000 to 30,000 undergraduate students within the next five years," said Philip Regier, executive vice provost and dean of ASU Online.ASU now has 1,600 online students.Regier said ASU will increase marketing and call-center enrollment services."What we do really well at ASU is curriculum and instruction," the dean said.Regier said he wants to "really give the for-profits a run for their money."Currently ASU resident undergraduates pay $975 per course plus fees. That cost will increase a bit in the spring.Non-resident students will pay the same for online classes that on-campus resident students pay."We're obviously focused first and foremost in the Arizona and Phoenix markets, but . . . we welcome (out-of-state students) very much," he said.The Board of Regents gave ASU the authority to grant out-of-state students an online degree and to price their tuition at a rate comparable to in-state students.
"Our end goal is to graduate students," the dean said, "to graduate them, not to get them in, but to get them degrees."At least a dozen degrees are offered online, including nursing, sociology, political science and criminology and criminal justice. The offerings meet 80 to 90 percent of the demand for returning students, Regier said. The two most popular degrees are in interdisciplinary studies and liberal science. A degree in psychology will be offered online in January. Online business degrees will follow, he said.
Department chairmen and faculty will stay in control of the online programs, he added. More faculty will be hired."We want to meld the best aspects of the private sector with the best aspects of ASU, and . . . we think we can retain and graduate students far better because of our partnership (with Pearson)."
Under the agreement, ASU will design and teach classes and set and enforce instructional and academic policies. Pearson will provide software - a learning management system for the delivery of online programs. It will provide enrollment services and monitor and analyze trends in student performance. ASU will take in online students every eight weeks, and classes will run 7 1/2 weeks, half the time of an on-campus semester.
"There will be required interaction between students, and they will write papers. It will be very much a class," the dean said.

Luci scott
The Arizona Republic

Bridgepoint Education's Ashford University Introduces Bachelor of Arts Degree in Adult Development

Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE: BPI), a provider of post-secondary education services focusing on higher access to higher education, announced today that Ashford University has created a new Bachelor of Arts degree program in Adult Development.  This targeted degree will be the foundation of many careers that support America's growing adult population, applicable to industries such as health care, social services, public administration, legal representation and law enforcement. According to the United States Administration on Aging, the number of Americans between ages 45 and 64 has increased 38 percent since 1997.  The National Institutes of Health has declared that the over-65 population will double in the next 25 years.  As the adult portion of America's citizenry continues to grow, Ashford University has recognized that segment-specific knowledge and training is necessary to serve the members of that population.
"This new degree mirrors changes in the world around us, as more and more disciplines focus research on adulthood," stated Dr. Alice Vestergaard, Ashford's Health, Human Services and Sciences program director. "Multi-disciplinary perspectives of adulthood incorporate psychology, education, health, social sciences and anthropology.  This new degree reflects the collaborative nature of the emerging research and study of adulthood."
Instead of modifying an existing degree to include adult topics, Ashford University built the Bachelor of Arts in Adult Development from the ground up.  The Adult Development degree can also be specialized for gerontology, training and development, teaching, workforce services or health studies.  Through the program's courses, students will be able to focus on the growing adult-specific demands on the public and private sector, including education, health and human services, counseling, social work, psychology, career services, legal representation, law enforcement, sociology and public administration.
"By incorporating learning theories and instructional design into this innovative degree, graduates are able to work in a variety of adult education settings serving diverse populations across the continuum of adulthood," added Dr. Rebecca Wardlow, program director for the College of Education.
Ashford University's Bachelor of Arts in Adult Development is currently available online.  This degree does not lead to licensure or certification of any kind.

About Bridgepoint Education
Bridgepoint Education's postsecondary education services focus on offering associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in such disciplines as business, education, psychology, social sciences and health sciences. Bridgepoint Education's regionally accredited academic institutions – Ashford University and University of the Rockies – deliver their programs online as well as at traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.668.2580.

About Ashford University
Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.

Courtesy  - SAN DIEGO, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/