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Penn State Invests $20 Million in World Campus

by on May 01, 2013 6:41 AM

With Penn State’s World Campus aiming to more than triple enrollment over the next decade, the university says it's making a $20 million investment in the online education program. Money to help pay for the expansion is coming from current World Campus revenues.

The additional investment will fund “new technologies, provide additional faculty capacity, enhance student services, support research and development initiatives, and improve infrastructure and marketing efforts.

“Since the mid-1990s, Penn State has led the development of a sustainable model for delivering online education, emphasizing high-quality programming and superior student services,” said President Rodney Erickson in a statement.

“Today’s rapid advances in technology, coupled with cultural shifts, are changing the way students engage. With this new goal, Penn State is re-affirming its commitment to meet the needs of current and future students through online and hybrid programs, in addition to resident education programs.”

Twelve thousand students are currently enrolled in World Campus programs. Penn State hopes to increase that number to 45,000 within the next decade. World Campus is expected to bring in $90 million in revenue this year.

“What sets Penn State’s online education model apart is that it is embedded within the university, is an integral part of the academy, with strong relationships with university colleges and campuses, and involves the same faculty who teach on campus. The result for all students is a Penn State degree, regardless of how it is earned,” said Wayne Smutz, executive director of the World Campus.

World Campus, which recently celebrated its 15 year anniversary, is aimed at adult learners who need the flexibility of online classes. Currently, students from all 50 states and 72 different countries are enrolled in one of its 90 education programs.

Kevin Horne is the Managing Editor of Onward State and frequent contributor to He is also a Penn State senior, majoring in journalism and political science.
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