The City University of New York (CUNY) is using $8 million of Federal stimulus funding to develop CUNY Online, a new initiative to build online degree capacity at the university system and produce high-quality online courses and programs.

According to a press release, CUNY Online will be directed by the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) – the university’s online institution – and will support all 25 CUNY campuses in developing new online programs and expanding existing ones.

“The shift to online instruction that took place during the pandemic demonstrated the great promise of technology to help us meet students quite literally where they live, but course materials need to be optimized, and best practices incorporated, to realize the full potential of these tools,” said CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “We are fortunate to be able to lean on the great expertise of CUNY SPS to lead this effort that makes a long-term commitment to the success of students who can benefit from the flexibility of online degree programs and courses.”

The university system said that the new online initiative will expand capacity and resources to “make student-focused investments in online education, and provide dedicated personnel to support academic content development, including instructional designers, production staff, and project managers.” The school added that the dedicated personnel will aid faculty in academic content development, course design and delivery effectiveness. CUNY Online will also provide strong student support services including around-the-clock tech support, expanded tutoring and early access to the newest technologies.

“CUNY SPS has long known the need for quality online programs that enable busy students to access their classes and complete their coursework at a time and place that is convenient to them,” said CUNY SPS Interim Dean Jorge Silva-Puras. “With CUNY Online, the University has made a forward-thinking investment in online education to ensure that all CUNY colleges may be able to offer more flexible and accessible online learning opportunities. We look forward to bringing our 15-plus years of online expertise to CUNY Online and therefore other campuses within the CUNY community.”

CUNY Online is in the initial phases of its launch, with plans to select and develop a first round of seven to 10 new online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs by the end of 2022 that will be in place by Spring 2023. The initiative is expected to have completed 13 to 20 new programs by Fall 2023.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs