Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium

Georgia Tech shares it's expertise in delivering online degrees-at-scale

September 06, 2019 | By GTPE Communications
Four individuals sit at front of the room to discuss early lessons learned as part of the Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium.

Sarah Dysart, University of Michigan; Adam Klivans, University of Texas; Quentin McAndrew, University of Colorado-Boulder; and Michael Feldstein, eLiterate, discuss early lessons learned for new programs at scale at the symposium.

For the fourth time, Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) held its signature event, the Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium, as a way to share Georgia Tech’s expertise in delivering online degrees-at-scale. In 2014, Georgia Tech was the first to introduce the world to the Online Master of Science in Computer Science, which was made available to learners across the globe through it's exclusive online format and came at a fraction of the cost of traditional, residential programs.

Since the introduction of this first-ever affordable online degree-at-scale five years ago, as many as 45 new online degrees-at-scale exist in the market. The Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium hopes to support other higher education institutions as they create similar programs to meet the growing need for affordable, high-quality online degrees.

When GTPE delivered its first symposium in 2017, it attracted 57 attendees from peer institutions. At this year’s symposium, held in September, as many as 106 attendees from higher education institutions all over the country attended. Unlike in years past when the majority of the speakers were from Georgia Tech and the University of Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), who had experience with delivering degrees-at-scale, this year’s event included many speakers from other universities that have delivered such programs and developed the expertise to share with peers.

The three day event featured big picture plenary conversations with parallel sessions and workshops for deep-dive conversations. Topics are intended to provide an increased understanding and framework for planning at-scale, affordable programs and range from Financial Models, Mission Alignment and Governance, to other topics like Learner Services, Faculty Experience and Design and Technology. Yakut Gazi, associate dean of learning systems at GTPE served as host and moderator during the event and Georgia Tech was represented throughout the sessions.