Penn State's World Campus reports 22 percent growth

June 06, 2012

Increasing at more than double the national average, Penn State's online enrollments are the result of the strong partnership between the World Campus and the University's academic colleges and campuses

The number of students learning online through Penn State's World Campus grew 22 percent, from 9,380 to 11,420, from academic year 2010-11 to 2011-12. Enrollments in online courses also increased 19 percent, from 39,219 to 46,693.

"Penn State's enrollment growth in online programs is more than double the national average of 10 percent reported in the latest Sloan Consortium survey," said Wayne Smutz, executive director of Penn State World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach. "Credit for this success is shared with Penn State’s academic colleges and campus partners. They collaborate with the World Campus to deliver their programs online.”

Established in 1998, the World Campus delivers more than 80 graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs online to students in every state and many countries worldwide.

The top five online academic programs are:

-- Psychology (bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees), College of the Liberal Arts;

-- Geographic information systems graduate programs, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences;

-- Information sciences and technology undergraduate and graduate programs, College of Information Sciences and Technology;

-- Intercollege master of business administration (iMBA), Smeal College of Business, Penn State Erie Black School of Business, Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies and Penn State Harrisburg School of Business Administration; and

-- Human resources and employment relations master’s degree, College of the Liberal Arts

Offering Penn State degrees and certificates online through the World Campus can be beneficial for students, because several programs include faculty members across multiple academic colleges and campuses. In the iMBA program, for example, faculty members from four schools of business are educating students.

As Ashutosh Deshmukh, iMBA program chair and professor of accounting and MIS at the Penn State Erie Black School of Business, explains, the program has many advantages:

"Only the graduate faculty members who are effective teachers and have strong publication records teach in the program," said Ashutosh Deshmukh, iMBA program chair and professor of accounting and management information systems at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College's Sam and Irene Black School of Business. "iMBA also offers the Penn State brand name, AACSB accreditation, a program with a specific mission and vision, and a strong practical component to the education."

Another component helping to increase online enrollments is the World Campus' coordinated national advertising/marketing campaign and website redesign, which since last July have resulted in nearly 1.8 million website visits; more than 53,500 requests for information about academic programs (including 6,200 requests from the mobile website); and a 19 percent increase in mobile site traffic.

Visit http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/ to learn more about Penn State’s online programs.

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.

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Last Updated June 19, 2012