UT Tyler Adds 3 Online Programs
By EMILY GUEVARA
The University of Texas at Tyler will add to its online selections this fall when it launches three new degree programs.
Working with Academic Partnerships, a higher education service provider, the university will offer master's degrees in civil and mechanical engineering and an MBA in health care management.
"The programs are designed for working adults all over the country who can't come to campus face-to-face," Dr. Donna Dickerson, UT Tyler's graduate school dean, said by phone. "And it's also designed in seven-week modules so they take two courses every seven weeks."
That schedule allows students to concentrate on fewer courses for a shorter period of time, Dr. Dickerson said.
The programs are 100 percent online and are designed and developed by UT Tyler faculty.
Dr. Dickerson said that as enrollment grows, learning coaches will be available to help students who might have questions.
These coaches will act much like teaching assistants, helping students with homework and allowing the faculty members to concentrate on course content, she said.
Faculty members will train the coaches and work closely with them so they understand the instructor's teaching philosophy. Dr. Dickerson said by having the learning coaches, the university can have more students in each online class.
In all, about 70 people have applied for the programs so far, with the university admitting about half of those. Seventeen of those admitted have enrolled for the online courses, which will start this fall.
Dr. Dickerson said it would be great if 200 to 250 students enrolled in each of the programs. At UT Arlington, more than 5,000 students were enrolled this spring in an online program that enables registered nurses to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing, according to a representative from that university.
Dr. Dickerson said in an emailed statement that UT Tyler officials expected enrollment to be slow for the online engineering programs "because most people don't think of engineering education being online."
However, she said, they are confident it will grow as word reaches the industry. The response for the MBA in health care management program has been better than expected, Dr. Dickerson wrote in the email. She said that is a high demand area in business.
Academic Partnerships exclusively works with public universities in the U.S. and abroad to convert a school's traditional degree programs into online formats, according to the company's website.
The company recruits qualified students and supports enrolled students through graduation, according to the website.
In addition to the three new online degree programs, UT Tyler offers eight other online degree programs, five certification programs and two executive format programs.
The executive format programs meet face-to-face in class for a specified time frame with the rest of the work online, according to information provided by the university.
For more information about the UT Tyler programs launched with Academic Partnerships, visit online.uttyler.edu.
For more information about all of UT Tyler's online and hybrid programs, visit www.uttyler.edu/academics/online-programs