At the inaugural Leading the Change: Charlotte Symposium on Online Learning and Beyond, online learning leaders and advocates across UNC Charlotte discussed ways to best prepare the university for the growing demand from students for high-quality online programs, and the encroaching competition by other educational institutions edging in to meet that demand. The event provided a platform to share successes, exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and envision the exciting path ahead for Charlotte Online!
“It gives you an opportunity to interact with the staff and leadership in person. Also, you can interact with others with similar interests and goals.”
Enrollment Growth and the Demographic Cliff
“We know that a transformative education does not always follow a traditional format,” said Dr. Jennifer Troyer, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “More and more, students are seeking flexible delivery modes to continue their education.”
UNC Charlotte saw record enrollment numbers fall 2023 for its online students. Up 36% in four years, the 2,142 online learners who plugged in virtually this semester represent a growing shift in the way people, especially adults 25 and up, are choosing to have their education delivered.
“We have some big online learning goals here at Charlotte,” said School of Professional Studies (SPS) Associate Provost Asher Haines. “Student demographics are changing, technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and UNC Charlotte is committed to meeting the needs of our region and state.”
“This symposium was of great value. I left this meeting energized to think creatively about how distance/remote/online teaching could be done with high quality, high-effectiveness in my department.”
Partnerships the Key to Innovative Success
At UNC Charlotte, a successful online learning program begins with a strong partnership between the School of Professional Studies (SPS) and the academic leaders and faculty who first envision their course or program online.
Sessions at the symposium covered strategic topics including enrollment and recruitment strategy, innovative course design, and launching and improving online programs as well as a plenary panel addressing best practices and lessons learned. Each session was co-facilitated by SPS leaders along with faculty and administrator champions including Dr. Kim Clark, Dr. Mike Putman, Dr. Jan Warren-Findlow, Dr. Scott Fitgerald, Candice Whitside, and Dr. Leslie Zenk.
“Stimulated great ideas for increasing outreach and retention efforts, which I will share during our next leadership meeting.”
Connect with us for your enrollment growth, program strategy, and online course design needs and learn about future events by contacting with Director of Program Management, Karri Kennedy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.