As a land-grant institution, Auburn’s mission is to provide educational opportunities to Alabama’s citizens. The development of new online programs will expand Auburn’s role as an eLearning provider and will enable students to achieve their academic goals in a manner consistent with the University’s standards.
Following a faculty-led RFP process, Auburn University has signed an agreement with higher education partner Everspring to facilitate the development of new distance education programs. The agreement aligns with several of the goals outlined in Auburn’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, specifically to enhance student success by developing a select number of fully online degree programs.
Beginning spring 2014, representatives from the Provost’s Office and Everspring will engage campus stakeholders to identify high demand academic programs. Working alongside Auburn faculty, Everspring will support the University to identify three undergraduate academic programs and select master’s programs that possess the greatest potential for success.
Under the agreement, Everspring will provide the assistance to the academic programs such as instructional design, program marketing, student recruitment and student services. Through developing high-quality distance learning programs, Auburn will maximize its ability to reach prospective students, including degree completers and working professionals, who desire an Auburn degree. These programs will employ the most advanced pedagogical practices and adhere to the institution’s high standards of quality.
Working with Auburn University, Everspring will also support the University’s efforts to develop online marketing and admission materials that are consistent with Auburn’s unique brand and image.
The partnership with Everspring promises unique opportunities for Auburn faculty and students, as well as establishing its reputation as a leader in eLearning.
Everspring works with leading universities to create, implement, and grow innovative online programs that reflect the university’s unique mission and culture. Everspring partners with university leadership to help develop an integrated online strategy and brings the services and technology needed to execute with excellence. In Everspring’s model, the university maintains responsibility for academic offerings, including admissions and academic standards, faculty and instruction, financial and academic systems, and matters related to accreditation. Everspring brings the capital, supporting technology, instructional design, student services, and technical and program support needed to ensure a high quality, engaging online experience.
Why is Auburn doing this?
As a land-grant institution, Auburn’s mission is to provide educational opportunities to Alabama’s citizens. The development of new online programs will expand Auburn’s role as an eLearning provider and will enable students to achieve their academic goals in a manner consistent with the University’s standards. This agreement aligns with several of the goals outlined in Auburn’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, specifically to enhance student success by developing a select number of fully online degree programs.
Who will develop, teach and enroll in these academic programs?
These will be Auburn programs, taught by Auburn faculty to Auburn students.
Will these be MOOCs?
No, these will be fully approved academic offerings taught in an online environment.
Who is Everspring?
Everspring is a Chicago-based company that provides full-service, customized online education solutions. Everspring partners with universities to design, implement and grow the university’s online degree programs. It also delivers the services and technology needed to support the outstanding delivery of the university’s online educational programs. The Everspring team has decades of experience designing and delivering exceptional online, hybrid and blended education programs. As such, Everspring brings not only technical expertise, but also a range of best practices that are vital to delivering innovative and engaging programs that support outstanding student outcomes and faculty engagement.
Everspring’s distinctive approach is to work “hand in hand” with the university to ensure true integration of the university’s unique identity and the online programs, with the shared goal of creating programs that are defined not only by outstanding academic content, but also by the availability of comprehensive support services. Everspring’s goals are aligned with those of top universities seeking to not just move online, but to expand their mission and scholarship with a thoughtful approach to online learning that will endure over time and help define the university as a leader among its peers.
Why did Auburn choose this partner?
Auburn was seeking a partner to help shape and support our online strategy as we expand our approach to moving programs online. Auburn selected Everspring because of their unique approach to engagement and partnership, their proprietary integrating technology, and their innovative and experienced delivery of services and support. Auburn’s tradition of academic and educational excellence, combined with Everspring’s depth of experience with the range of innovative technologies and techniques necessary to deliver high quality online programs well positions Auburn to become a leader in online education.
When will the partnership begin, and what is the timeline for launching programs?
Auburn entered into a partnership agreement with Everspring in March of 2014, with the aim of designing and delivering a select series of undergraduate completer and graduate programs online. During the initial stages of the partnership, Auburn leadership and Everspring will be engaging with campus stakeholders to jointly identify the programs to be included in the first phase of our partnership. Auburn’s aim is to identify an initial set of programs to be developed in time to launch instruction in Fall of 2015.
How will distance programs be chosen?
Auburn and Everspring will collaborate to jointly identify programs that sit at the intersection of Auburn’s strategic objectives, Auburn’s academic strengths and excellence, and the prospective student market’s needs. Everspring has conducted preliminary research on behalf of Auburn to provide insight into the online market, broad program and discipline demand, and the strength of Auburn’s brand. Over the next several weeks, Auburn and Everspring will conduct a series of discussions with faculty to obtain additional insight into these issues, and to assess the readiness of interested programs to move online. The goal of these discussions is to identify for Auburn a preliminary roadmap of online programs that is both externally viable and internally feasible.
Will Everspring work with every Auburn University online course and program?
No, Auburn University faculty can continue to develop online offerings outside of the Everspring partnership.