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UML's Moloney Receives 650K Grant for UMassOnline


LOWELL, Mass. ߝ The Sloan Foundation, a national association that promotes online learning standards, has awarded UMassOnline a $650,000 grant to help expand access to the University of Massachusetts. 

“The grant will help UMassOnline to develop, deliver, and market a new suite of online, blended programs and services,” says Jacqueline Moloney, dean of continuing studies, corporate and distance education at UMass Lowell and principal investigator for the grant. “We look forward to providing our students with the ‘best of both worlds.’ Students will have the flexibility of the internet combined with face-to-face meetings with their colleagues and the faculty member.” 

UMassOnline, which has 22,000 enrollments and offers 69 online degree and certificate programs, has grown dramatically since it was launched five years ago. These programs come from the five campuses in the system ߝ Amherst, Dartmouth, Boston, Lowell and the Medical School in Worcester. 

Each of the five UMass campuses will develop or expand two programs as part of this new grant initiative. Programs in health care will be the primary focus of the first series of blended courses that will become available this summer. UMass Lowell will implement the grant with UMassOnline, working with the other campuses in the system.

Prof. James Lee, from the College of Health and Environment will teach a graduate course in health-care management this summer. The class will be conducted onsite at a regional hospital with a blended format that will alternate between on-campus sessions and online sessions. This blended format will allow more students to have access to the rich array of educational programs offered by the University by making it more convenient for working professionals to attend these classes.

The program will be launched during the summer of 2007. “This program will also allow us to develop unique partnerships with local health care organizations and provide for much needed workforce training in this high demand area,” said Catherine Kendrick, director of corporate and distance market development at UMass Lowell.

The Sloan Foundation is hoping that UMass will help to set some new directions in e-learning. “While we remain excited about the continued growth of asynchronous online education, we are seeking novel and interesting ways of reaching new populations who will benefit from programs that address local or regional needs,” says A. Frank Mayadas, grants director for the Sloan Foundation and President of the Sloan-Consortium, of which UMassOnline is an active member.  “UMass with its five regional campuses and solid experience delivering online education, is uniquely qualified to model a new approach to elearning that better serve local constituencies,” he concluded. 

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UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education.

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