New Offerings from UMassOnline Reflect Continued National Leadership in Contemporary Course Development, Design, Deployment, and Delivery: Rapid Changes and Significant Growth in Health and Human Services, Journalism and Arts Administration Careers Shape Innovative Course Content New Programs Distinguished by Extensive National and International Interaction and Networking with Diverse Professionals, Virtual Classrooms, and Flexibility -- A first-in-the-nation Arts Administration concentration among new programs

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Coming less than 90 days after separate announcements last November that saw the launch of the nation's first fully-online Master of Public Health in Nutrition program as well as ten new programs featuring blended learning innovations pioneered by University of Massachusetts faculty and program developers, UMassOnline CEO David Gray today announced the formal launch of three more new, online study concentrations. These new programs include a collaborative concentration in Arts Administration - the first and only program of its kind in the nation - as well as concentrations in the rapidly changing fields of Journalism Studies and Health and Human Services.

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News has been moving online for ten years. This revolution in the delivery of the news requires both a general understanding of the field as well as specialized online skills.

    "These new program developments," said Gray, "are a result of our ongoing commitment to remain in the forefront of innovative online offerings in step with extremely high-growth fields. In emerging disciplines where sweeping changes are happening rapidly and the demand for highly educated professionals continues to grow, the most rewarding career opportunities favor those with the most advanced knowledge and best contemporary understanding of the requirements for success."

"Today's leading colleges and universities with a genuine interest in providing quality online programs have an obligation to go well beyond the mere packaging of long-established traditional courses with baseline delivery technology. In addition to the requirement that the technology significantly enhance and enrich the learning experience, the program offerings themselves must remain contemporary, reflective of the real world, and ever-evolving to meet and exceed growing demands for leading professionals to have the contemporary knowledge demanded of the new career opportunities."

All three of the new offerings were developed by UMass Amherst's University Without Walls (UWW) program which, for 37 years, has been at the forefront of groundbreaking degree completion programs for adult learners. Applications for the new concentrations are currently being accepted for fall 2008 with individual courses available now.

Collaborative Concentrations in Arts Administration

Offered in partnership with UMass Amherst's Arts Extension Service (AES), a leading provider of professional arts education, the program is the nation's first online arts administration individualized undergraduate degree completion program designed for working adults. Participants may also earn a nationally recognized Certificate in Arts Management in addition to their fully accredited UMass Amherst bachelor's degree.

According to AES director Maren Brown, "Nonprofit arts and culture is a growth industry." Citing a recent study by Americans for the Arts, the nonprofit arts and culture industry grew 24 percent between 2000-2005, supporting 5.7 million full time equivalent jobs. Brown says, "There's currently a huge opportunity for people entering the field of arts administration."

Concentrations in Journalism Studies

This new program is offered in partnership with UMass Amherst's Certificate of Journalism, recently named by the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) as a Program of Excellence, which is widely considered the most prestigious award given in the field of distance learning.

According to Norman Sims, full-time professor of journalism at UMass Amherst and coordinator of the Certificate of Journalism, this degree completion program was developed in response to rapid changes in the field as well as an increased need for flexible learning environments for working adults. "News has been moving online for ten years. This revolution in the delivery of the news requires both a general understanding of the field as well as specialized online skills."

Expanded Concentrations in Health and Human Services

An outgrowth of the current program's popular Human Services concentration, the new degree area serves the dual purpose of giving working adults the satisfaction of earning their degree while also preparing to join a highly trained workforce in the burgeoning, interconnected fields of human services and health care.

"With the population growing and aging, these are extremely high-growth fields," said UWW faculty member Lee Manchester, who added, "These new concentrations give students the latitude to cross over to a variety of jobs in both areas, and for those currently in the healthcare field to move into management and other roles that offer better paying, more fulfilling work."

About UMassOnline

UMassOnline provides the highest quality education offered by the UMass system in a flexible, online format enabling students, professionals, and lifelong learners to take courses anywhere, anytime. With 75 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate and professional development programs and more than 1,500 individual courses, UMassOnline offers one of the largest accredited online programs available. For more about UMassOnline, go to http://www.umassonline.net or visit our blog at http://www.umassonlineblog.com

About the University Without Walls

At UWW, students design their own degree connecting life, work and training experiences to individualized concentrations of study. With students having a variety of backgrounds and interests, a UWW degree reflects a wide range of creativity and interdisciplinary connections ranging from arts administration, business and organizational studies, education (licensed and non-licensed), health and human services, to journalism studies, or a student's own idea. Given a choice of live, online, and blended courses, UWW students accelerate completing a first ever undergraduate degree in an average of just five semesters. For additional information about University Without Walls, visit http://www.umass.edu/uww.

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