Sloan Consortium names Penn State degree top online program for 2012

August 23, 2012

The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' B.A. in Energy and Sustainability Policy degree, delivered by World Campus, will receive an Outstanding Online Program Award Oct. 11

Energy use will increase 35 percent globally over the next 25 years, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, which also warns that current energy policies may no longer ensure economic competitiveness, national security and a livable environment. What's needed is new ways to encourage clean energy and job growth and reduce carbon emissions. Penn State's B.A. in Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) degree, delivered online, is designed to prepare graduates for a role in developing this new energy policy approach. The Sloan Consortium has selected the degree for its 2012 Outstanding Online Program Award.

"We're incredibly honored to have such a young program [launched in 2010] receive this important recognition from the Sloan Consortium," said Ann Taylor, director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. "This award is a credit to the tremendous team of faculty and staff who developed this high-quality program and work closely with our students to help them reach their learning goals."

Sloan-C, an association of higher education institutions and organizations engaged in online learning, will present the 2012 awards at its International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando on Oct. 11. Taylor will be joined by ESP lead faculty member Vera Cole and program assistant Susan Spaugh when accepting the award at the conference.

"Collaboration between Penn State's academic colleges and the World Campus is essential for the development of high-quality online programs like the ESP degree," said Wayne Smutz, executive director of the World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach. "This award acknowledges the efforts of the ESP team to create an online program that will help prepare future energy policy leaders."

Developed and offered by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences through a partnership between the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute and the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, the ESP degree is delivered online by the World Campus.

The ESP degree program integrates five overarching learning objectives across the curriculum — energy industry knowledge, a sustainability ethic, analytical skills, communication skills and global perspective. Students also participate in a hands-on learning component: an internship or international study.

For information about the energy and sustainability policy program, visit the program website online.

The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences previously received Sloan-C's Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program award in 2009 for its Master of Geographic Information Systems program delivered by the World Campus. Since the Sloan-C award program was started, Penn State has received three awards for outstanding online programs, including the first in 2006 to the turfgrass program as the Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program.

The Dutton e-Education Institute is the learning design unit of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, responsible for working with academic departments to develop, deliver and manage online certificate and degree programs targeted to working adult professionals worldwide. The Institute cultivates the College's capacity to design, create and sustain online courses and programs that embody the best practices of e-Education.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 80 of Penn State's most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, which serves more than 5 million people each year, in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.

  • IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 28, 2012