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Fordham University Launches Two New Online Graduate Degrees

By Cait Etherington
July 24, 2018

U.S.-based edtech company, 2U, partners with colleges and universities to build flexible and adaptable online courses. On July 19th, 2U announced a new partnership with New York’s Fordham University. 2U will work with Fordham University to deliver two new online graduate degree programs. Law@Fordham will launch a Master of Studies in Law in Compliance, and Business@Fordham will launch a suite of specialized management and finance degrees.

The 2U-Fordham Partnership

In a press release issued on July 19th, Fordham University Interim Provost Jonathan Crystal expressed enthusiasm for the new partnership and specifically, the partnership’s potential to extend Fordham University’s graduate-level education to a broader spectrum of students. “Fordham is pleased to be able to deliver its programs in compliance and business to professionals around the world via 2U,” says Provost Crystal, “We look forward to delivering top-notch academic programming to a broader, more diverse body of students via 2U’s online platform.”

Andrew Hermalyn, who serves as 2UGrad President, is also confident that the new partnership will help Fordham University realize its goal of reaching a broader demographic of students: “Based in the epicenter of U.S. business and commerce, Fordham Law and the Gabelli School of Business have unparalleled access and connections to leaders in these fields. Partnering with Fordham means we can extend this quality educational experience to students globally.”

Fordham University Targets Growth Sectors

Fordham University’s School of Law will leverage 2U to deliver Law@Fordham. The Master of Studies in Law in Compliance is designed to prepare students to assume leadership roles in the growing field of compliance.  From higher education where enrollment reporting requirements continue to become more complex to healthcare with its extensive HIPPA regulations, the demand for compliance professionals continues to grow, but to date, there is a shortage of programs designed to train people specifically on compliance issues. Fordham University’s new Master of Studies in Law in Compliance will offer instruction on how to set up a compliance office; build and implement compliance training programs; institute incentive and disciplinary procedures for non-compliance; and establish auditing, monitoring, and reporting systems. Courses will focus on issues such as legislation and regulation, risk assessment, global codes of conduct, international financial crime, and crisis management.

Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business also plans to target growth areas but by offering a series of specialized master’s degree programs in business and management. Following the Gabelli School of Business’s commitment to promoting “leadership with purpose,” the new online programs will emphasize how to conduct business that generates profit while also benefiting individuals and communities.

Online Master’s Programs Continue to Gain Ground

In many respects, Fordham University’s decision to pursue online master’s programs is not a surprise. Over the past decade, fully online master’s programs, especially in professional fields such as education, nursing, and business, have become increasingly widespread and accepted. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, as of 2014, 12% of undergraduates were enrolled in fully online programs but more than twice as many (25%) graduate students were enrolled in fully online programs. The numbers have continued to rise over the past four years. There is also growing evidence that online master’s programs are just as effective as in-person programs.

Last week, eLearning Inside News reported on MITx’s “hybrid” master’s program, which combines a year of online learning with one semester of on-campus education. As reported, of the 1,900 students who completed all the courses in the MicroMasters, 622 successfully completed the final exam, and of those, 42 were accepted to complete a residential semester on the MIT campus. MIT researchers found that the students who did their initial course work online were just as prepared as students who had completed all their course work on campus. Similar successes have been reported at Georgia Tech, which offers  an affordable but rigorous fully online master’s program in computer science. Not unlike MIT, research on Georgia Tech’s program has found that student enrolled in the fully online program complete their coursework with at least as much knowledge as their counterparts enrolled on campus.

With its newly launched 2U partnership, Fordham University has an opportunity to become a key player in the growing online master’s program market.