Undergraduate, on-campus students growing number of Global Campus participants


The most popular global campus courses are 100 to 300-level university program and general education requirements. (Source: CMU Online Academic Program Study Committee)

In 2007, about 80 percent of students taking courses through Central Michigan University's global campus did so in physical locations across the country. In 2015, about 80 percent of students taking global campus courses do so online.

A growing number of these students are undergraduate, on-campus students at CMU, according to research compiled by the CMU Online Academics Program Study Committee. Committee chairs Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson and David Patton delivered an update to the Academic Senate Tuesday. On-campus students generated approximately 26 percent of total Global Campus course credit during the 2014-2015 academic year.

"The audience is changing," Patton said. "If you look at academic and curricular types of situations they usually don't change so quickly. It was often easy to view global campus as a separate thing but with the increase of online activity that is involving main campus students more and more, that seperation doesn't exist anymore."

The committee was established by the CMU Board of Trustees at its April, 2015 meeting. Its purpose is to ensure that CMU remains a leader in online program and course delivery and to increase the number of courses available. Committee members said CMU is compiling information to guide their strategy going forward.

"I can't sit here honestly and tell you that there is a strategy as to where we are going online," said University President George Ross. "The board is concerned about our competition and the market place. I would encourage the senators to come and interact with the board. They wanted to receive this information and broad recommendations from the committee. This group can't bring answers, they are going to raise issues and frame where we are going.

Department of Political Science and Public Administration Faculty James Hill told committee representatives that it appeared to him CMU did not have a plan for online course offerings.

"It's startling to me that this was supposed to be integrated, we are one CMU so this is enlightening to see that we are rudderless at this point," he said.

Department of Philosophy and Religion Faculty Joshua Smith said he was concerned about the quality of these courses and its affect on filling classes at CMU.

"We now have an online introductory logic course and ever since that we've had difficulty filling our classroom logic courses," he said. "Departments have no control over the number of sections and that I think is having a very negative affect."

Patton said Hill's concerns have been brought to the attention of the committee and is "part of the conversation."

"We have been asking, how do you effectively as it becomes more integrated serve both of these groups and add more online without killing the face-to-face classes?" Patton said. "We don't have answers yet but it is part of the conversation."

Global Campus delivers face-to-face programs at 55 locations across the United States and Canada, and online where CMU is licensed to deliver online programs.These are a combination of physical centers staffed by CMU employees and locations where CMU offers a cohort at a partner site.

"The committee is predominately composed of faculty members," Pehrsson said. "The opinions are very strong about the quality integrity and rigor of our course delivery and student experiences."

Online Academic Program Study Committee

  • Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, Committee Chair, Dean, College of Education and Human Services
  • Jeffery Betts, Chairperson, School of Health Sciences
  • Kathryn Dirkin, Faculty, Teacher Education and Professional Development
  • Shellie Haut, Director, Licensure, Regulatory Svcs. and Human Capital, Global Campus
  • Bill Kanine, Chair, CMU Board of Trustees
  • Melinda Kreth, Faculty, English Language and Literature, and Chair, Academic Senate
  • Latoya Lain, Faculty, School of Music
  • Paul Natke, Chairperson, Economics
  • David Patton, Chairperson, Geography
  • Peter Ross, Vice President, Global Campus
  • Lawrence Sych, Chairperson, Political Science and Public Administration


About Malachi Barrett

Editor-in-Chief Malachi Barrett is Battle Creek senior majoring in journalism with a minor in ...

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