CU-Boulder asks faculty to submit proposals for online degree programs
The University of Colorado is asking its faculty and staff to get creative and develop new, fully online degree programs to launch in the fall of 2018.
The CU system is calling for online degree program proposals until July 15, with grants being awarded by Sept. 30. CU hopes to select three winning grant proposals and award each team $200,000 for course development.
Faculty selected for the grant will receive a $15,000 stipend, with staff members receiving a $5,000 stipend to support the logistics of course development.
The grant program emerged from a Board of Regents-led proposal brought forward in November to improve access to CU degrees and encourage collaboration among the four campuses.
That idea has come to fruition.
“We’re counting on the innovation of our faculty and staff to be able to develop three-year, fully online degree programs that are going to meet the needs of students in high-demand areas in Colorado and beyond,” said Ken McConnellogue, spokesman for the CU system.
Degree programs must be developed and delivered by faculty from at least two of CU’s campuses, though the faculty members creating the degree don’t have to be the ones delivering it. Up to nine faculty members and three staff members can work together on one team.
Students must be able to complete the degree completely online and in three calendar years, though they won’t be required to work within that time frame.
Teams must demonstrate that the degree is in high demand in Colorado and will have high marketability outside the state.
Another key factor will be the net number of new students the degree brings to CU.
Special consideration will be given to degree proposals that involve faculty members from three of CU’s campuses, those with rolling admissions during the spring or summer semester and those that partner with a Colorado business, governmental organization or nonprofit.
Special consideration will also be given to degrees with multiple concentration areas and proposals that can demonstrate a high demand.
The degrees will still need to go through CU’s traditional approval process before they are launched.
Regent Steve Ludwig, who helped bring forward the initial proposal last fall, said this will be a learning experience as the university tries something innovative.
“It’s not going to be a perfect process, this is the first one and that’s OK, we’ll figure it out, we’re trying new stuff,” Ludwig said at a February board meeting.
The CU system is working to enhance and improve its presence in the online higher education marketplace with a shared platform called University of Colorado Connect. The online offerings from all four of CU’s campuses are accessible through the Connect website.