Extended Learning, under the leadership of Vice Provost Monica Orozco, represents the merger of Continuing Education with Extended University. Extended Learning facilitates delivery of UNM courses and degree programs, professional development, and lifelong learning to students across New Mexico and beyond.
More than 11,000 individuals in the Albuquerque metro area participated in Extended Learning’s non-credit, professional development and personal enrichment courses during fiscal year 2013. The team is now planning to expand some of these offerings across the state.
University degree completion options are also available statewide and beyond through Extended Learning. UNM currently offers nine bachelor’s degrees, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree online. About 23 percent of UNM students now take online courses and more than 1,200 students are studying exclusively online this semester.
The challenge now, according to Orozco, is to expand capacity in these programs and to add additional online programs because students are on waiting lists to get into these courses. She added that it is very reasonable to expect that we could double the number of online degree options available within two years.
“It’s a very challenging time in higher education as we attempt to expand access to university degrees, workforce development, and lifelong learning while increasing instructional quality and decreasing delivery costs," Orozco said. "A big part of Extended Learning’s role within the university is to facilitate the effective use of instructional technology to meet those challenges.”
Extended Learning is also collaborating with university faculty in the development of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs), something universities across the world are exploring. Orozco expects UNM’s first MOOC to launch in 2014 and others to begin development soon.