Open Enrollment Courses Now Offered Virtually by Penn State Executive Programs

Live Remote Delivery options are now available through Penn State Executive programs. Erin Long discusses the benefits of enrolling!

 We’ve all read countless articles by now about COVID-19.

We’ve seen, empathized and learned deeper about the impact the virus had on various supply chain procedures, collaborative initiatives between top-tier companies, as well as Smeal’s involvement in coalitions that support hospitals and medical centers to fight the invisible war the best way possible.

But perhaps there’s something you haven’t heard about yet: open enrollment short courses.

Believe it or not, these courses did not come about due to the virus, yet surely have their relevancy elevated now more than ever.

“Looking at expanding into a distance learning environment is something that has been on our radar for the last couple of years,” Erin Long, Assistant Director of Learning and Operations, Penn State Executive Programs. “We have had the Supply Chain Academy online for custom uses, and natural progression included our open enrollment portfolio, but we wanted to make sure that we were still providing the highest quality learning and not losing any outcomes that we seek in our face-to-face environments.”

These Live Remote Delivery options are bringing the faculty sessions directly to the participants as if sitting all together in the classroom, and their availability begins now, this summer of 2020.

From a learning design standpoint, the team had to come up with a basic template layout that all courses could follow.

Long explained that after careful consideration, Executive Programs determined their best schedule would be to host two 90-minute live sessions per day.

“Our traditional two-day courses now have six sessions over three days and our traditional three-day courses now have eight sessions over four days,” she said. “I met with the faculty director for each program to work through identifying how best to move the typical sessions into the six or eight remote sessions.”

This included “reimagining some of the content topics and breakout exercises, choosing online simulation tools, and working to make sure that our original goals and outcomes for each program remained intact.”

Smeal is excited to introduce the courses, and feels their being remote does not serve as a setback but rather as an opportunity to continue evolving professional development.

Each program will be broadcasted live with the very same professors that instruct on campus— the only difference is that the various certificate tracks can be reached from the comfort of participants’ homes.

Long truly feels these courses can also help provide a sense of normalcy for those who want to keep up their education and get their taste of Smeal during a time as unprecedented as this one. 

“With a couple of 90-minute sessions per day, participants can continue to complete other work instead of having to take several days off,” Long said, passionately. “There is also a bit of cost savings with a lower enrollment fee and no travel costs, so hopefully this delivery format opens the door for some people that maybe weren’t able to experience our programs before.”