A Program of Scale (ProS) is an online program that has been identified as having the ability and support to provide greater access than most other programs. This is commonly measured as having the potential to enroll 1,000+ students. In addition, courses offered as part of a ProS are redesigned with the assistance of instructional designers and assessment specialists to provide an enhanced student experience and consistency of course design from one course to the next. Emphasis is placed on eight-week sessions to provide more entry points for students. Students in these programs also receive increased student services that seek to provide a proactive “continuity of care” for the students across all aspects of their life with the university.
To meet the enrollment goal for online programs outlined in IU 2030, IU Online must develop a portfolio of five to 10 online programs that can generate enrollments of 1,000 students or larger. This is not uncommon at other institutions, and in fact, one IU program, the online MBA through the Kelley School of Business, currently enrolls nearly 2,000 students. Also, in comparison to some of our online programs, particularly at the core campuses or historically at the regional campuses, programs of this size are not uncommon in face-to-face programs.
No. Programs are owned either through single campuses and their own governance policies or through a multi-campus committee with representatives from all participating campuses. The administrative offices (e.g., the Office of Online Education and the Office of Collaborative Academic Programs) provide research and services, as well as recommendations for the faculty and deans committees to consider in developing and maintaining the program.
No. IU Online is not a separately accredited institution and therefore cannot become its own campus. IU Online students are always enrolled through an IU campus, faculty are appointed through an IU campus, and degrees are awarded through an IU campus.
No. All programs will follow the revenue share model for online programs.
IU is no stranger to shorter-term courses. IU already offers some 10,000 sections of coursework that last eight-weeks or less every year. However, the strategic decision to deliver an entire program in eight-week sections is not common at IU.
Shorter-term courses will provide greater access to IU Online programs. First, students will have more frequent opportunities to start a program compared to the one, two, or sometimes three start times IU Online currently offers. It will also enable students to take shorter breaks to accommodate other life responsibilities (e.g., a new work project or promotion, a student graduating from high school, an illness).
Shorter-term courses will also provide the increased flexibility that students expect in online programs. They allow students to focus on a single course or two at a time or start closer to the time they are ready.
Shorter-term sessions have become an increasingly common standard for online programs. Most large providers of online education offer six to eight start dates per year, if not more—sometimes multiple times per month. Shorter-term programs seem to be as valid as full-semester courses, and IU is no stranger to shorter courses. In fact, it already offers around 10,000 sections of eight-week courses.
As always at IU, ensuring quality begins with the faculty and academic departments. All courses are developed with faculty who serve as instructional leads for the course. In addition, courses developed as part of a ProS are vetted through peers at all participating campuses for commentary and review. While not all courses will undergo formal Quality Matters review, all courses developed as part of the ProS will be “QM-Ready,” meaning that the course will be ready for QM review should the instructor want to pursue this certification.