October 25, 2010 | | Leave a comment As online education gains more popularity among professionals in the field, more traditional brick-and-mortar schools are collaborating with online learning providers to convert their classes to the online format. Many universities are partnering with these companies to stay competitive with fully web-based schools as well as other campus-based universities. Companies such as Embanet and Deltak offer universities design and implement regular classroom sessions into a web-based classes for students. Recently, Arizona State University (ASU) hired Pearson eCollege to equip the college with various capabilities that are designed to maximize learning outcomes through student engagement and retention, as well as increasing the amount of online courses the school provides. By outsourcing this process, the college aims to be more cost-effective for prospective students. LearningStudio, Pearson’s learning management system, helps ASU by monitoring trends in student performance, and tracking the achievement of learning objectives and goals through its online courses. Currently, Pearson’s LearningStudio serves more than 9 million students worldwide. "The reality is that learning online is very demanding and most students already have family and work responsibilities,” said Philip Regier, executive vice provost and dean of ASU Online. “The more support they receive, the better their learning outcomes and overall experience will be." Furthermore, Pearson can provide enrollment services for ASU’s online undergraduate programs, which includes student support, retention and engagement. The arrangement allows the university to keep students immersed in each stage of the enrollment process. Prestigious business schools begin to offer degrees online Other schools are beginning to offer online classes in certain areas of need. The University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Policy, Planning and Development recently teamed with Embanet to launch an online master’s of public administration (MPA) program, reports Business Week. The online learning company provides the university with marketing and enrollment services, online faculty training, as well as hosting and technical support. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to serve [the university] as we work with USC on another exceptional online program,” Stephen Fireng, president and CEO of Embanet, told the news source. “The quality, selectivity and support of the online program will reflect the excellence of its on-ground counterpart.” The MPA degree from USC currently ranks seventh in the nation in the U.S. News and World Report 2008 survey of public administration, public policy and public affairs programs. “Embanet brings to the partnership an understanding of the academic rigors of the program as well as the deep expertise and support services that will allow us to provide our students with the outstanding experience they have come to expect from USC.” Jack Knott, dean of the School of Policy, Planning and Development at USC, told the news source. Universities with an established online presence partner to extend their reach Lubbock Christian University (LCU) recently teamed with Deltak to bolster its online presence. Online curricula are already available for students. However, by collaborating with Deltak, the school can now offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees. New master’s degrees in leadership, human services and counseling resulted from the partnership with Deltak. “It is exciting for us to have the opportunity to expand that mission beyond our regional presence and touch more of the world with the LCU experience,” said L. Ken Jones, president of the university. “Their full-service approach and vast expertise in online education will be instrumental in achieving our objectives for many, many years.” The company is also helping the college reach new markets by designing doctoral degrees, which could enable them to reach new markets.