All-online Program Is First of its Kind Offered by an American Institution of Higher Learning
The New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS, www.scps.nyu.edu), in partnership with the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, has launched a professional Certificate Program in Quality Assurance in Higher Education to begin in spring 2010. The program, which will take students one year to complete, is the first fully-online, graduate-level certificate program of this type to be offered by an American college or university. The Certificate can be taken either as a standalone program through NYU-SCPS, or as a minor concentration at the Steinhardt School.
- Answers Demands for Accountability in Higher Education
The Quality Assurance in Higher Education Certificate program addresses a key gap in the American and international higher education landscape, says Jean Morse, the new NYU-SCPS associate dean for academic affairs, who will direct the Quality Assurance certificate program. While accreditation agencies deliver useful accreditation-related training to colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad, there is a severe shortage of dedicated professionals with appropriate expertise who can offer in-depth support and implement change on campuses, where such change must ultimately occur. There is also a shortage of broad, policy-oriented analytical training for policy makers. Before joining NYU-SCPS, Morse was CEO and president of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, one of the seven U.S. regional accrediting organizations.
This new program is launched amidst continuing expansion of higher educational opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, and in response to the need to coordinate higher education quality internationally and growing demand for clearer learning goals and outcomes. And, as students and the public generally demand greater accountability and transparency from colleges and universities, quality assurance expertise in decision and policy-making bodies and on campus has become increasingly important.
- Practical Curriculum, Meeting New International Guidelines
The curriculum includes consideration of both policy and practical skills. The program has been endorsed by the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), which developed materials for a certification program with a World Bank grant. The NYU program is unique, explains Morse, because it examines quality assurance from several perspectives, including the international context. The courses address questions such as: what is quality, how it can best be assured in different contexts, and what role should agencies and the colleges themselves play, she says.
The primary audience for the NYU program includes policy makers and administrators and faculty in colleges and universities currently involved in assessment, institutional research, and other areas central to colleges and universities accreditation and other quality assurance activities. Two independent studies of national and international education institutions, commissioned by NYU-SCPS, found high demand among mid-sized and large institutions of higher education for a flexible, internationally comprehensive, and globally-available quality assurance program.
- Four Courses, Delivered Through Anywhere, Anytime Format
Students can enroll for the entire program of four courses (3 graduate credits each) or for any of the following individual courses: Globalization and Higher Education Reforms, and Building and Maintaining Institutional Quality (Spring 2010); External Quality Assurance (Summer 2010); and Operating a Quality Assurance Agency (Fall 2010). The course schedule will repeat annually. Tuition for the program is $2,400 per course plus fees, and registration is open now. Detailed course and faculty information can be found at www.scps.nyu.edu/qualityassurance.
All four Quality Assurance courses are delivered through the NYU-SCPS Online course management system supported by the Epsilen Global Learning System. The courses are taught asynchronously, meaning students can access key course content and interact with their professors from anywhere in the world, and at any time during the course term. NYU-SCPS Online provides students and faculty with an array of rich learning tools, including wikis and blogs, text chat, voice-over IP, live video conferencing, social networking spaces, and ePortfolios. For more information, or to register, please visit www.scps.nyu.edu/qualityassurance or call (212) 998-7100.
About the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Established in 1934, NYU-SCPS is among the several colleges and schools that comprise New York University, one of the largest private research universities in the United States. Through its faculty, curricula, and vibrant professional and academic networks, NYU-SCPS captures the expertise of key sectors where New York leads globally: Real Estate; Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management; Global Affairs; Philanthropy; Communications Media, Publishing, Design, and Digital Arts; Business, Marketing, and Finance; and the Liberal and Applied Arts, among others. Rigorous and timely programs in these and related areas attract undergraduate and graduate students immersed in university life, working professionals in 14 graduate degrees, and New Yorkers of all backgrounds enrolled in approximately 2,500 continuing education courses, certificate programs, conferences, and seminars annually. NYU-SCPS is widely considered to be the most complete example of NYUs founding commitment to be In and Of the City-and In and Of the World.