UMass President Meehan: ‘Online College’ for Adults Could Ease Current Financial Squeeze

UMass President Marty Meehan shares a thought with UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney. (WHAV News photograph.)

University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan laid out a plan on Monday to create a new “online college” for adult students that he said could become the system’s bulwark against increasing financial pressures on college campuses caused by competition for fewer college-aged students.

The State House News Service quotes Meehan, in his annual speech to state leaders and the university community, as saying that in the coming months he would be meeting with senior officials and faculty on all five of the university’s campuses to plan a “new online college focused solely on adult learners.” He hopes the online college will gain a national profile.

The college, as described by Meehan, will offer degree completion programs, “rapid response” to workforce demand and customized credential programs for employers.

Meehan said he presented the university board of trustees last fall with a model for the online college that would “allow us to rapidly scale this platform through strategic partnerships, while implementing best practices in digital education for adult learners.” The revenue generated from the online programs will be returned to the campuses, he said.

UMass Lowell currently holds criminal justice, business administration and psychology courses at a Haverhill satellite campus at Harbor Place, 2 Merrimack St.

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