Monday, September 13, 2010

Guest Commentary: JSPH's New Online Degree Programs

Juan Leon, PhD 
Director of Online Learning 
Jefferson School of Population Health

Lisa Chosed, MA 
Online Programs Administrative Liaison
Jefferson School of Population Health

Jefferson School of Population Health (JSPH) academic degree programs are now online!

Juan Leon, Director of Online Learning, and Lisa Chosed, Online Programs Administrative Liaison, have been working since January to provide support to the first cohort of faculty who will be teaching online.

Students taking online courses receive an Online Student Orientation—6 hours of training that acclimates newcomers to the structure of the online courses and the online environment in general. The course ensures that online students are familiar with JSPH academic policies and have access to all of the same resources as on-site students. The Orientation also introduces fundamental online skills such as conducting literature searches in the library, posting assignments, and producing papers in conformance with style guidelines. Our Master of Science degrees in Health Policy, Chronic Care Management, and Healthcare Quality & Safety are completely online...and courses go live Monday morning, September 13th at 9:00AM. We are excited and ready!

How do our online programs fit into the broader educational landscape today? According to a report released last year by the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), a leading research center, online enrollments continue to grow faster than those for the entire higher education student population. More than 1 in 4 higher education students today take at least one course online.

While offering online programs is in keeping with the larger national trends, we are the first to offer online Master’s degrees in Healthcare Quality and Safety and in Chronic Care Management. Other distinguishing features of our programs are the small, specialized courses, highly qualified faculty, and the strongly motivated student body comprised of professionals in health care and related careers. Our students are finding that online courses can fit into their busy schedules, and that our focus on workplace applications of learning allows them to implement positive changes, both immediately and over the longer term.

The Sloan-C report, “Learning On Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009,” is available here.