New Name, New Home for Online Education


Earlier in 2015, Johnson & Wales University purchased 115 Cedar Street in Providence. Adjacent to JWU’s Renaissance Hall, the location will serve as the new home for the School of Online & Continuing Education.

The school’s staff, which currently provides support and services to approximately 600 online learning students, will initially occupy the second floor of the two-story building. All staff phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same in the new location.

New Building Supports Growth, Strategic Initiatives
“We are very excited about this new space,” says Cindy Parker, dean of the School of Online & Continuing Education. “It provides a well-designed and functional environment for our staff to work together and collaborate as one team to ensure achievement of the university’s online enrollment, revenue, and surplus objectives, which are slated to support several important university strategic initiatives."

In addition, the new dedicated space “provides room to accommodate our expansion in staffing as our enrollment grows, without disrupting the physical location and interactions of our existing staff,” notes Parker.

Currently, 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered fully online, with additional degree programs in the pipeline for the future. The school is planning to have 850 or more online students in the spring 2016 term.

New Name
To go with the brand-new facilities, the School of Online & Continuing Education has been renamed the College of Online Education. (The change will be rolled out starting this month.)

“The new name more accurately reflects its scope of operation and range of academic programs,” notes Parker. “The College’s operating surplus will provide financial support for several important university initiatives in 2016-17 and beyond.”

Piloting New Educational Technologies
In parallel to growing enrollment and expanding the public’s awareness of JWU’s unique brand and professionally-focused education, Parker is also excited about exploring — and deploying — new technologies and operational models to enhance students’ success in the classroom (and beyond).

“The College has piloted uSucceed (Starfish) and Blackboard Analytics, tools to enhance student learning and retention, which are now being deployed to all of the university’s campuses,” she notes. “Additional new technologies will be explored for potential use in the next few years.”

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