University’s Online Learning Program Praised for Quality

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UMass Lowell is a 2020 Blackboard Catalyst Award winner.


Contacts for media: Christine Gillette, 978-758-4664 or and Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell has been recognized for its inclusive educational culture with a 2020 Blackboard Catalyst Award.

Presented by Blackboard Inc., a global leader in educational technology, the awards program salutes colleges, universities and K-12 school districts around the world for innovation and excellence in online learning. As an award winner, UMass Lowell’s Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies has been commended for outstanding teaching methods, content, technology and educational services that are fully inclusive and supportive of learners with disabilities, Blackboard announced.

“UMass Lowell’s designation as a 2020 Catalyst Award winner for inclusive education underscores the university’s longstanding commitment to ensuring students of all abilities have equal and ready access to the tools and instruction they need to succeed, both in their professional lives and as individuals engaged in their communities. We’re gratified Blackboard has chosen to recognize our efforts,” said Steven Tello, UMass Lowell’s vice provost of graduate, online and professional studies.

Catalyst Award winners in seven categories were selected by a team of Blackboard experts. Honorees will be recognized during BbWorld, Blackboard’s first annual global conference, which will be held virtually this month.

“We're proud to recognize this year's Blackboard Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through technology and sharing these insights with the broader community,” said Lee Blakemore, Blackboard’s chief client officer and president of global markets.

“The educational quality for all learners recognized by this award is just one of the reasons UMass Lowell has seen a record number of enrollments, more than 17,000, this summer. We invite anyone interested in advancing their skills and careers to consider furthering their education with UMass Lowell,” said Tello.

UMass Lowell is one of the largest online education providers in New England and is the recipient of international honors for quality, excellence in teaching and course design. Established in 1995, the university’s online-learning program has grown from a few dozen students to more than 40,000 enrollments annually, Tello said. Educational offerings include undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, along with project management training and corporate seminars in a variety of fields. For more information, visit the Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies at

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 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, 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 leaders in their communities and around the globe.