UMassOnline and UMass Lowell Launch Innovative New Blended Education Model for Graduate Program in Health Management and Policy

UMassOnline and UMass Lowell Launch Innovative New Blended Education Model for Graduate Program in Health Management and Policy

New "Best of Both Worlds" Initiative Combines Face-to-Face and Online Sessions to Fit the Busy Schedules of Healthcare Professionals

SHREWSBURY, MA - June 28, 2007 -UMassOnline, the University of Massachusetts' online education division offering more than 1,300 accredited courses with 66 degree and certificate programs, announces UMass Lowell's new blended learning offering in Health Management and Policy.

It's a new blended education model that UMass Lowell specifically incorporated into its Health Management and Policy program - to meet the growing demand from working professionals who prefer not to miss out on the traditional face-to-face classroom experience, but require the flexibility inherent with online learning.

"This is a really unique program that fits well with the demands of healthcare professionals," said Jacqueline Moloney, Interim Associate Chancellor at UMass Lowell. "Our online programs are extremely popular, but a lot of students still like the traditional face-to-face classroom experience. So this new blended format gives students a delivery model that combines the traditional face-to-face classroom setting with the convenience of online sessions."

This fall, the University will offer five blended courses - two off campus and three on campus. To enhance its new blended offering, UMass Lowell partnered with Yankee Alliance - one of New England's largest healthcare group purchasing organizations - to offer the face-to-face sessions for one of the blended courses this fall onsite at its corporate facility. The classroom component for the blended 'Operations Analysis and Quality Improvement' course will be held at Yankee Alliance's corporate facility in Andover, Mass. The onsite component for the blended 'Health Informatics' course will be scheduled at Winchester Hospital. The classroom sessions for the blended courses - 'Applied Health Economics,' 'Health Care Management,' and 'Health Information System Planning' - will be held at the UMass Lowell campus.

No matter what location students select for the classroom portion in a blended course, the number of face-to-face classes is cut in half with classes actually meeting as few as six times per semester - substantially reducing commuting time. The graduate program in Health Management and Policy is designed to produce healthcare and policy professionals with the knowledge and expertise essential to the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective health services, as well as the design, analysis and evaluation of public health and private sector health policies.

"Offering blended learning programs enables UMassOnline to offer even more flexibility, integrated with real-world experience which is ideal for health management and other disciplines requiring face-to-face learning," said David Gray, CEO, UMassOnline. "We applaud UMass Lowell for forging relationships with local healthcare institutions like Yankee Alliance for its blended learning program to offer more value to our students seeking the highest quality learning experience."

This new blended learning program is funded in part by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation - a world-renowned philanthropic institution.

To learn more about the graduate program in Health Management and Policy or to view the complete schedule of fall course offerings, visit http://continuinged.uml.edu/hmp or contact Continuing Studies at 978-934-2141.

Date: 06/28/07

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