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Budget & Planning

Seed Funding for New & Refreshed Online Programs for 2014-15

February 17, 2014


TO:    Academic Leadership Council
  Department Chairs
FROM: Johannes Britz, Provost and Vice Chancellor
RE: Seed Funding for New & Refreshed Online Programs for 2014-15
DUE DATE: March 17, 2014

Academic Affairs invites proposals from academic units for one-time funds in 2014-15 supporting the development of new and refreshed online programs, degrees and certificates. In response to input from adult nontraditional online students, proposals will also be accepted that support the development of evening and weekend blended classes (50% or more of the course content is online, with a corresponding reduction in class face-to-face meetings). New this year: funding will be available for converting traditional or existing online courses to the U-Pace self-paced format (focus on gateway introductory courses). Funding is also available for online redesign/refresh of STEM gateway courses and for remedial/developmental courses.

Proposals should demonstrate the need for the program (including alignment with state/national employment projections, areas of high demand, etc.), faculty/staff who will participate in the program and other instructional support such as teaching assistants, preliminary program budget, timeline for developing the program and offering courses, capacity/readiness to undertake the program, and commitment to faculty development and quality assurance in online programming.

In its document "Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs," the Higher Learning Commission summarizes its expectations with respect to program quality:

  • that education is best experienced within a community of learning where competent professionals are actively and cooperatively involved with creating, providing, and improving the instructional program;
  • that learning is dynamic and interactive, regardless of the setting in which it occurs;
  • that instructional programs leading to degrees having integrity are organized around substantive and coherent curricula which define expected learning outcomes;
  • that institutions accept the obligation to address student needs related to, and to provide the resources necessary for, their academic success; and
  • that institutions undertake the assessment and improvement of their quality, giving particular emphasis to student learning.

In keeping with UWM's Access to Success initiative, proposals for new and refreshed online programs that support student access, success and active learning are encouraged.

Project proposals should be submitted electronically on the attached Online Program Seed Funding Form A to Laura Pedrick at no later than midnight, March 17, 2014.

Attachment (Seed Funding Request Form A)