The Board of Supervisors emphasized at its meeting Friday the importance of online education at the University by introducing new online graduate programs.
The Board authorized an assessment structure for LSU Online, a new program that will offer four graduate degrees. The University anticipates initiating these first four online programs March 4, said Carolyn Hargrave, LSU System vice president for Academic Affairs and Technology Transfer.
The hope is that LSU Online will expand to undergraduate programs, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Hank Danos.
“LSU Online is an exciting concept that’s becoming a reality, because if you’re paying attention to what’s going on nationwide, if we want to survive and compete, we’re going to have to grow in this area,” Danos said.
The University will add additional programs as they are developed by faculty and approved by the necessary channels.
“LSU anticipates that LSU Online will have a positive cash-flow within the first year,” Hargrave said.
In a letter to Interim System President and Chancellor William “Bill” Jenkins, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Stuart Bell said it is “widely accepted that the most rapidly developing trend in higher education is a transition to increased online delivery of instruction.”
Danos said there’s no reason not to follow this trend, as it will attract students from around the country.
Hargrave said undergraduate programs are the long-term because the University has to assess course offerings over four years, including general education classes.
The president of the LSU System will establish a per-program, per-credit-hour tuition and fee assessment for all students in LSU Online, she said.
The assessment will be based on market demand and will not exceed the maximum amount of tuition and fees authorized for comparable degree programs provided on-campus by LSU, according to the Office of Academic Affairs meeting outline.