University of Colorado launches online learning portal

By Sarah Kuta, Daily Camera
June 7th, 2016

online learning

‘Connect’ portal will link students with all online learning opportunities

The University of Colorado this week officially launched “Connect,” an online platform that links prospective students to all online course and degree offerings across CU’s four campuses.

The website, formerly known as University of Colorado On Demand, is a hub for fully online degrees, online certificate programs and online classes. The website had a soft launch last fall.

“We want to get people in the front door and then they can determine which room they want to visit,” said CU spokesman Ken McConnellogue.

At a CU Board of Regents meeting in February, Pam Shockley-Zalabak, chancellor on the Colorado Springs campus, said there were 780 courses with roughly 1,020 sections being offered online in the spring semester. The number of students enrolled exclusively online was more than 4,000, she told the board.

McConnellogue said Wednesday that the CU system plans to “significantly increase” its online offerings in the next two years.

The official launch this week coincides with a marketing campaign geared toward new traditional students, non-traditional students, community college students, transfer students, high school students and homeschool students, as well as former CU students who only need a few credits to complete a degree.

Current CU students will be able to take online classes from other campuses through concurrent enrollment.

CU plans to spend $1.5 million on marketing efforts for the web portal over the next three years. President Bruce Benson has committed $9 million from his special initiative funds to the online platform.

The “Connect” portal stemmed from discussions by members of CU’s elected Board of Regents about CU being competitive in the online learning marketplace. Though each campus had some form of online offering, the board wanted the campuses to increase and enhance those offerings, and make them easier for prospective students to find.

“All of the campuses already had various online offerings that were branded and were in various stages of development or implementation so we were creating a single point of entry,” McConnellogue said.

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