As we enter 2013, I am amazed how much CSU continues to evolve and improve.
2012 was a year in which the online education industry stayed under extreme scrutiny and many institutions saw significant reductions in enrollment and workforce; yet CSU remained strong and made huge advances.
A short list of these advancements are listed below:
- The Academics leadership team was greatly expanded as we move forward in improving academic quality and offerings.
- Successful special events such as a customer service workshop, special training for safety professionals and leadership seminars were a few of the educational sessions we conducted around the country.
- Numerous information technology initiatives were completed that resulted in service improvements for you, our students, and increased efficiency.
- A new data center in Atlanta was set up and went live which increased our redundancy and our students’ ability to connect more quickly with our online courses.
- Numerous CSU policies were revised or created and a new Student Handbook and CSU Catalog were completed.
- Another record number of graduates and their families and friends attended our graduation ceremonies.
- Significant software platforms were installed that expanded the capabilities of our Blackboard Learning Management System. This will result in some great new enhancements being launched in 2013.
- A new remote/virtual proctor solution was researched, tested, and deployed.
Overall, in 2012 we became a much better institution and set the stage for 2013.
In 2013, we will continue this drive forward to take CSU to the next level. The impact of the improvements in 2013 will be the greatest yet. I will touch some highlights of our plans. Some of these items will span beyond 2013.
- Academy Quality
- We will identify new programs that align with our mission and vision and build those programs.
- We will make significant enhancements to our courses to increase faculty-student engagement and create variety in the types of assignments.
- Additional pilots are taking place in our per course system to study different ways we can improve this model to increase engagement and learning while continuing to be flexible.
- CSU and the City of Orange Beach are officially approved to be an Alabama Fire College Regional Training Center. These course offerings will begin in a face-to-face format this first quarter.
- We will further explore e-book options.
- Provide Exceptional Student Support Services
- There is reorganization occurring within the university to include the introduction of a Student Affairs Division under the direction of a new vice president of Student Affairs. This will demonstrate the university’s commitment to providing the best student experience possible.
- Within the Student Affairs Division, academic advisors will no longer be part of the Registrar’s Office but will become a new department named the Academic Advising Center. Furthermore, a significant expansion in the role and number of academic advisors will be made.
- Services offered through the Success Center such as tutoring, disability services, and career services will be further improved or expanded.
- The university Library Learning Resources will be expanded and highlighted to increase utilization of these valuable resources.
- A software solution will be deployed to connect classroom and university interactions into social media platforms, further expanding options for communications based on a student’s individual preference.
- A new prospect/admissions portal will be launched along with further improvements made to our existing student portal.
- An intelligent enrollment system will be developed to make course enrollment simple and efficient.
- Facilitate Relationships. CSU is committed to establishing long-term relationships.
- Our Alumni Association has big plans for 2013 with quarterly meetings at locations throughout the U.S., including Atlanta, Dallas, and San Diego, Calif.
- We will launch an online community site within our Learning Management System, Blackboard. This additional software will allow specific groups of learners to collaborate and build greater connections within the CSU community.
Now that I have provided an overview of the plans for CSU, allow me to provide an update on Waldorf College, our sister institution. Waldorf is located in Forest City, Iowa, and has a traditional campus and online degree programs. Waldorf’s online program will be transitioning from a hybrid model with residencies required to a fully 100 percent online model in 2013. Waldorf also recently launched a new online degree in communications. The first term of the new online communications program starts Feb. 6, 2013.
In closing, the CSU staff and faculty hope you continue to allow us to assist you in achieving your educational goals.
Thank you for your support in 2012 and we look forward to a greater 2013!