Schools and Colleges

iSchool to expand online master’s degree program

Courtesy of SU Photo and Imaging Center

The iSchool will launch online education programs that will add to already existing ones, such as the information management and library and information science masters programs.

The School of Information Studies at Syracuse University will be launching a new online degree partnership with the education technology company 2U next semester.

The partnership, which will launch in October and begin accepting applications in April, will be an attempt to strengthen the iSchool’s already-existing online graduate programs — including the Master of Science in Information Management and the Master of Science in Library and Information Science — according to a release on the iSchool’s website.

The iSchool has been using online education programs since 1993, but partnered with 2U to “be innovative and deliver high-quality programs in (an online) format,” said Victoria Williams, director of online education at the iSchool.

Williams added that 2U stood out among its competitors because “they really invest in instructional quality and student success.” The partnership with 2U will allow students to participate in a classroom-like setting by being able to interact with their peers and instructors in live sessions, Williams said.

Online education at the iSchool is often for working professionals that come from all over the United States and the world, Williams said. The iSchool’s online education programs allow the iSchool to provide access to its community, alumni network, faculty experts and the field in the degree to people who “otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to come to campus,” Williams said.

The iSchool is 2U’s third partnership at SU, following the company’s partnerships with the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, which were announced in 2015.

Williams said that this expansion of online education at the iSchool is not expected to decrease enrollment to the iSchool’s on-campus school. The online program is meant to provide access to what the iSchool can offer to students who cannot come to campus, she said.

Andrew Hermalyn, 2U’s executive vice president and regional general manager, said 2U would like to build on what the iSchool has been doing for online education in the past 20 years.

“They’re unique in that they’ve been doing online education for many, many years — longer than 2U has been a company,” he said.

The master’s program in information management will be the first to launch for the iSchool in October 2016. Applications for the program will open in April, Williams said. The school’s online program in computer information was recently ranked No. 11 in a list of the best online degree programs in the country.

In the future, the iSchool will build courses on the platform in degree programs such as library and information science in 2017, Williams said.

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