Daily Collegian - UMassOnline Web programs at its peak
By Matt Belliveau -
UMassOnline, a Web-based educational system that combines the talents of all five University of Massachusetts campuses, have announced a revenue increase of 32.1 percent and growth in enrollment of 25 percent during fiscal 2007, setting new records for the online education division.
"We can attribute much of our growth to the quality of our courses and the depth and breadth of our program offerings," said UMassOnline CEO David Gray. "UMassOnline enables students to have the same access to award-winning faculty, programs, and learning as found in a physical classroom at any of the five campuses."
The increases mark the largest growth rate recorded in more than three years as revenue from online programs jumped to $28 million from $21 million the previous year.
Enrollments reached 26,627, up from 21,202 recorded in the previous fiscal year, and 17,661 in fiscal year 2005.
"More people are learning online now and more online learning programs are entering the market than ever before," stated Gray. "The high standards employed by the University system have enabled UMassOnline to harness this quality and pass it on to the growing number of students, professionals, and lifelong learners that have already chosen us for a quality education that will stand the test of time," said Gray.
According to Gray, the growth of UMassOnline corresponds with the overall trends in the industry. According to The Sloan Consortium's recent report, "Allen, I.E. and Seaman, J. Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States," higher education institutions taught nearly 3.2 million online students during the fall term of 2005, an increase of about 850,000 students and a growth rate of 35 percent. The report states that this year marks both the largest absolute increase in the number of online students and the largest percentage increase.
In March 2006, UMassOnline celebrated its fifth anniversary by adding six new programs to its roster.
These new programs include certificate programs in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Casino Management and Food Service Management, as well as Continuing Medical Education and graduate degrees in Domestic Violence Prevention, and Forensic Criminology.
UMassOnline launched in 2001 with 5,009 students, and has grown quickly since then. The online student body is very diverse, with students enrolled from all 50 states and 15 different foreign countries. The faculty for the online learning site consists of professors that teach the courses at the various UMass campuses.