UMass Amherst Launches Online Graduate Degrees

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Amherst is launching three online graduate degree programs, the first such programs to be offered by the campus. Chancellor David K. Scott announced the new programs.

In a collaborative effort, three schools at UMass - the Isenberg School of Management, the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and the School of Nursing - and the UMass Division of Continuing Education have entered a partnership with eCollege.com, a leading online education provider.

"Fundamental to all of our strategic planning is the idea that the Commonwealth is our campus," says Scott. "The partnership with eCollege.com is another step to the ultimate goal of bringing education to everyone, everywhere, anytime in the Knowledge Age."

"The innovative technology available today allows the University of Massachusetts Amherst to extend its reach far beyond the boundaries of the campus," commented Cora B. Marrett, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost. "Access to the excellence of the University is now within the reach of all those who have been unable to become part of our residential community."

Degrees to be offered include: a Professional Master of Business Administration; a Master of Science (Nursing) in Community/School Health; and a Master of Public Health.

Courses are slated to begin this spring and will be taught by resident UMass Amherst faculty. All courses will meet the same academic requirements as traditional on-campus courses. The courses will be located at the University''s virtual campus, accessed at www.UMAmherstOnline.org.

The Professional Master of Business Administration is fully accredited by AACSB-The International Association for Management Education. The accelerated MBA program is designed for professionals who want to continue their education in the management field.

The Master of Science (Nursing) in Community/School Health prepares advanced-practice nurses as expert clinicians in the care of children, adolescents, and their families in diverse community and school health settings.

The Master of Public Health provides graduate education for practicing professionals with relevant public health-related experience.

"We are pleased to partner with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to deliver their online degree programs," said Rob Helmick, president and CEO of eCollege.com. "We believe that greater access to these quality online degrees is imperative for the success of students everywhere. We commend the University on its determination to make these higher education programs a reality."

eCollege.com is an online service provider building virtual campuses for colleges and universities worldwide. Comprised of educators and technologists, eCollege.com partners with institutions to deliver course content in a highly interactive and academically engaging manner.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system. It was founded in 1863 under the Land-Grant College Act of 1862. Within its 10 schools and colleges, UMass Amherst offers associate degrees in six areas, bachelor''s degrees in nearly 90, master''s degrees in more than 70, and the doctorate in more than 50.

The UMass Amherst Division of Continuing Education, founded in 1971, provides access to the academic resources of the University to part-time students, working professionals, local and national business firms, and to the general community. The Division of Continuing Education administers the University''s summer and winter sessions, as well as providing evening, weekend, and distance-education courses.

For information, contact: Kevin Aiken, Director, Division of Continuing Education, 413/545-2111, or DeVilla Williams, Regional Manager, eCollege.com, 978/922-4710.