Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Project

First Advisor

John Balls

Abstract

The Distance Learning Institute (DLI) was formed in response to decreasing enrollment and increasing attrition rates ("White Paper: Research in Online Learning", n.d.), to provide another educational option for students, and to compete with other online educational institutions (“The Attack of the MOOCs,” July 2013). This consultancy project documents the initiation of a DLI from proposal to implementation, to offer complete online degrees and certificates. The DLI was planned in four phases with milestones and projected completion dates as follows:

Phase 1: Established the Oversight Committee, researched best practices, determined the need for the DLI, anticipated and actual completion date August 2014.

Phase 2: Appointed Dean, formed subcommittees, began student readiness assessments, course standardization, faculty training, and determined student services needs, anticipated completion date June 2015, actual completion date July 2016.

Phase 3: Implemented online student services and administrative roles, and began implementing marketing strategies, anticipated completion date December 2015, actual completion date August 2017.

Phase 4: Offered its first online degree and certification programs, anticipated completion date December 2015, actual completion date August 2017 (Hedges et al., 2013).

Results of the overall project were the development of a course standardization template, best practices recommendations for instructors, providing another choice for students to earn their degrees or certificates, and the ability to compete with online colleges. It is anticipated that as the degrees and certificates offered by the DLI continue to increase, so will enrollment numbers, which may offset the declining enrollment numbers documented by the traditional college.

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