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Online and Continuing Education Honored

Excellence Recognized with National, Regional Awards and Rankings


Contacts for media:  Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or and Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell’s Online and Continuing Education Division recently captured national and regional honors for excellence, including top rankings for its online master’s degree in information technology. 

UMass Lowell’s online Master of Information Technology degree is one of the best in the nation, according to a new ranking. The UMass Lowell program is ranked No. 12 in the nation in a recent report by, an independent organization that specializes in resources for students. UMass Lowell is the only public institution based in New England included in the top 20. The ranking is based on quality, the breadth of courses offered, faculty excellence and awards, as well as UMass Lowell’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.

Individuals who earn an online Master of Information Technology degree have a higher level of expertise, greater responsibilities in the workplace and often receive a higher income, according to the ranking. “For many IT jobs, a master of IT degree provides an edge over the competition,” states in the announcement of the ranking. 

UMass Lowell’s Online and Continuing Education Division also recently captured national and regional honors for excellence in teaching, unique programs and redesigning its website for mobile and other devices.

The honors from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association cap off a year for the division that also included launching several new online programs and exceeding enrollment expectations, with more than 20,000 enrollments in 2012.

“The recognition that UMass Lowell has received for the high quality of its online program is a testament to our faculty and online professionals for consistently pursuing excellence and demonstrating their commitment to online education both nationally and internationally,” said UMass Lowell Executive Vice Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney, who oversaw the founding of the university’s online education program in 1995. Moloney is internationally recognized as a pioneer and expert in online education.

The association, also known as UPCEA, is the leading organization for universities engaged in professional studies, continuing education and online learning. The group awarded a bronze medal to the division’s marketing team for its new website, which was relaunched in 2012 with improved navigation and other enhancements to the user interface for online visitors, including accessibility for mobile devices. The site,, offers a new look that also includes larger fonts to make the site easier to read for all users. 

The marketing team includes Executive Director of Distance Market Development and Corporate Outreach Catherine Kendrick, Associate Director of Marketing and Outreach Amy Yacus, Manager of UNIX Systems and Web Outreach Judy Feeney, Web Programmer/Database Developer Ivan Klimenko, Advertising and Promotions Manager Kim Downey and Manager of eMarketing Nancy Currier.

Todd Avery, an associate professor who serves as faculty coordinator of UMass Lowell’s online English degree program, won the association’s outstanding faculty award for his online course, “Monsters, Apes and Nightmares,” which looks at the intersection of science in literature through books like Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and James Halperin’s “The First Immortal.” Avery received the award at the association’s conference this fall. Earlier in the year, Avery received the prestigious Haskell Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching. 

The UMass Lowell Online and Continuing Education Student Support Center, under the direction of Executive Director of Academic Services, Enrollment Management and Administration Pauline A. Carroll, was also selected to present two workshops on best practices at the association’s regional conference. Mary Duell, program adviser and lecturer in psychology, and Brashani Reece, an online student in psychology, presented “Promoting Original Research in an Online Student Population.” Manager of Advising Services Cathy Hamilton, Continuing Education Specialist Ryan Masson and Senior Records Analyst Janet King presented “ECHOES of Success,” highlighting how UMass Lowell connects with online students through the advising center operated specifically for those students’ needs.

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

UMass Lowell’s Division of Online and Continuing Education offers one of the largest public online and continuing education programs in New England, featuring a huge selection of affordable part-time graduate and undergraduate courses, degrees and certificates for busy professionals - on campus or online - in areas such as information technology, engineering technology, liberal arts, psychology, criminal justice, management, education, science and health care. The Division of Online and Continuing Education also offers customized training programs to companies all over the world.