Utah Valley University Launches New Website for Online Learning


Utah Valley University launched UVU Online this week, a new website dedicated to helping students find faster paths to graduation by taking advantage of UVU’s expanding array of online courses.

The website is designed to help students understand and enroll in online courses, and to showcase the University’s new online degrees and classes. The website lists four new online degrees: human resource management, humanities and social sciences, marketing, and university studies, and 50 high-enrollment classes including geology, art history, communication, and web development. With these new additions, UVU now offers 34 certificates and degrees online that will be available fall semester 2020.

According to David Connelly, UVU’s associate provost, the online program and website were not developed in response to COVID-19, but are part of UVU’s 10-year strategic plan called Vision 2030, a multi-year strategic initiative that calls for increasing the number of online offerings. The website release happened to coincide with the pandemic.

“Our No. 1 priority is providing high-quality online courses to our student body,” said Connelly. “Mixing online courses with face-to-face courses allows students to build workable schedules and complete their degrees sooner. We are focused on students completing their programs in a timely way.”

Online courses are already popular at UVU. University records show that nearly 50% of students take at least one online course each semester. Part of the multi-year plan is to continue adding large-enrollment general education classes that are required to graduate. The overarching goal is to remove barriers that slow down students from graduating or keep them from graduating altogether.

UVU is working to increase the choices for working students who need flexible education options. Statistics show more than 80% of UVU students work, and 25% support families with dependents, making it important to provide access to classes outside of the traditional 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. window.

Another University focus is creating other learning options such as compressing courses into shorter time periods (e.g., Spring Break delivery, block classes, and weekend intensives). In addition, UVU is working toward offering students credit for prior learning based on Utah Utah House Bill 45, which can give students a jump-start on graduation. The idea is to remove obstacles that keep students from graduating.

UVU began offering online courses in 1998 with the aviation sciences program, which continues to rank in the top-10 online flight programs in the nation. The number of online courses grew slowly but steadily, and began increasing rapidly when UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez and other leaders released Vision 2030. The plan calls for reducing barriers that keep or slow down students from graduating, increasing online and hybrid offerings, increasing stackable credentials and pathways, and expanding flexible class delivery.