November 25, 2013

eCornell Readies Launch of Online Program for Executives

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By SLOANE GRINSPOON

eCornell, a subsidiary of Cornell that offers online certificate programs for business professionals is releasing a new certificate program next month.

Redshift, which will be released on Dec. 2, aims to offer an interactive, on-demand and inexpensive program to attract business leaders who can take classes in practical business knowledge.

Two of the leaders spearheading the program at eCornell are Chris Proulx ’91, chief executive officer of eCornell, and Rob Kingyens, eCornell’s chief marketing and technology officer.

According to Proulx, the goal of the program is “to really provide an affordable but impactful option for business leaders.” “We want to be able to … talk with the leadership of those organizations about the kind of change they were able to see organizationally and the types of growth their employees were able to achieve in terms of their roles,” Proulx said.

Douglas Stayman, associate dean for MBA programs at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, said he has been working closely with eCornell, interfacing with eCornell and the leader of a marketing core course. Stayman’s course will be offered on Redshift as well.

“Redshift allows us to move into a broader market with a more cohesive Cornell-wide set of offerings. The value proposition is really enhanced; at a reasonable price, students can get access to a lot of different business expertise at Cornell,” Stayman said.

Stayman said that the Johnson school’s partnership with eCornell is beneficial because of its effective multi-modal learning space.

“We want to partner with eCornell partly because it’s part of Cornell, but also because they’re very good at what they do,” Stayman said.

He added that eCornell’s innovative system is “really moving eCornell and Johnson to the forefront” of online certificate programs.

Some of the content that will be used for Redshift has been developed over the past two to three years and has been used in other eCornell certificate programs, Proulx said.

Redshift differs from eCornell’s other programs in that Redshift is an on-demand course capable of being accessed as one’s schedule permits, whereas eCornell’s other programs have a more structured timetable, Kingyens said.

Kingyens also said another difference is price. eCornell packages the on-demand Redshift courses so they are affordable and so businesses can enroll many of their leaders in the program.

“In a lot of organizations today, they want executive education, but generally they’re just focusing on their upper-level management or executives. What we’re trying to do is make it available to anybody who’s a leader,” Kingyens said.

Because Redshift participants will come from different businesses, there will be opportunities for businesses to learn from one another –– an exchange which most companies are looking for, Proulx said. He added that Redshift will offer the opportunity for those who enroll to chat online with experts in the field.

“They want to develop their leaders to think creatively and innovatively, therefore they actually appreciate them having the interaction with leaders from other organizations,” Proulx said.

Kingyens and Proulx both said they believe the new program is filling a niche market.

“We’re hoping to offer something new in that market and really position Cornell to be a leader in the corporate learning market,” Kingyens said.

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