that being agile and
innovative in today’s
landscape requires a
co-creative approach to
The complex and changing demands of professional practice in a global context, the changing patterns of options in the world of higher education, and the economic constraints California faces are reshaping the way California State University, Northridge (CSUN) thinks about, develops and offers programs: baccalaureate and graduate degrees, credentialing and certification, and continuing professional education. At a time when there is almost daily news about changes that may redefine the future of higher education – (such as, education without institutions, free universities, massive open online courses (MOOCS), education via smart phone – many institutions are struggling to find a way forward. Some seem to do so by looking backward or by locking in a single approach to give them a sense of stability in a turbulent world. At CSUN, we recognize that these are, indeed, challenging times. We also recognize that at a time when options are many and change defines the day, what is needed is agility, smart and purposeful innovation, collaboration, and a readiness to bring talent together to create something exceptional that evolves over time as new possibilities emerge.
For nearly 18 years, CSUN has invested in skilled technical and instructional design specialists who work with faculty to enhance their use of educational technologies in teaching, learning, and research in face-to-face, hybrid and online courses. As a result, from the digital materials and services in the CSUN library to the collaborative faculty groups exploring new ways to make smart and effective use of educational technologies in the classroom and in the laboratory, CSUN is regularly looked to as a model for how the new can be woven into the traditional strengths of American higher education to deliver an exceptional experience that offers educational advantage across fields and levels, from the entering student to the doctoral candidate.
Within the past 12 years, CSUN has also invested in its ability to develop and offer fully online degree programs. In 2012/2013, CSUN fully online degree programs served students throughout California and in 31 of the other 49 states (32 states total), as well as in three other nations. This document focuses on CSUN’s approach and growth as a provider of excellent and distinctive fully online degree programs. The CSUN vision and distance learning philosophy encourages online programs to be innovative in the use of technology and instructional practices, and to inspire students to develop their passion by asking hard questions, seeking unconventional answers, and manifesting what role they have played and can continue to play in a global society, as they earn their degrees and graduate certificates.