April 8, 2010

eCornell Recognized for Leadership Development

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eCornell, Cornell University’s online learning company, has recently been named a Top 20 Leadership Development Company by Training Industry Inc. and awarded “Best Leadership Development Program” by eLearning! magazine at the 2009 Best of eLearning Readers’ Choice Awards.

The mission of eCornell is to “extend the global outreach of Cornell” to fulfill the “large global demand for corporate learning and development extension outreach,” said Chris Proulx ‘91, CEO of eCornell.

The online learning program allows for students, mostly adult-learners, to engage in virtual training from all different parts of the world to enhance their learning for professional and leadership development. The diverse programs offered through eCornell range from human resources and labor management studies to the hospitality industry to nutrition and ornithology. Since its inception in 2000 collaborating with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, eCornell has expanded and now offers programs in the Johnson School of Management, the School of Engineering, the College of Human Ecology, and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. In addition, eCornell offers 20 to 25 certificate based programs in professional and leadership development and has continuously increased its number of courses offered through Cornell. These online courses serve as some of the University’s core requirements in preparation for masters or higher-level degree education.

Nancy Weislogel, assistant director of executive education at the Hotel School, said in an e-mail, “We have about 40 online courses and they are extremely popular. Since beginning in 2001, the School of Hotel Administration  has developed 40 eCornell courses. In our first year of selling courses, we sold 435 SHA courses. We now sell approximately 10,000 SHA courses per year … We use six of our online courses as prerequisites for masters in management of hospital.”

eCornell is a convenient way for adult-learners with busy schedules to improve their professional and leadership development from the comfort of their own home. The program uses a modular approach and allows participating students to interact with other students through discussion boards and online chat sessions. In addition, learners are required to solve problems and complete online assignments which are assessed by Cornell faculty members.

“A major success of eCornell is that the Cornell faculty is the authors of these programs. eCornell has used top faculty at Cornell to author these programs. I think that has contributed to its success,” said Joseph Grasso, assistant dean for finance and management at the ILR School. “It’s really about the global reach as a University, as a land grant University.”

The future plans for eCornell are to develop additional projects and programs that will help facilitate the needs of adult-student learners who desire to advance their professional and leadership skills in all types of industries. One of their current projects is a development program in health care leadership.

Proulx said, “Our plan is to continue strong partnerships with large companies … [continuing] to reach out to organizations and build partnerships, delivering content and meet their needs … [continuing] to focus on additional areas where Cornell has strong expertise.”

“eCornell is not a substitute for the high quality that takes place on campus,” Grasso said. It really is meant to reach the school’s outreach function. It provides the ILR School, and other schools at Cornell, to expand their footprint in higher education. eCornell is one of our strategic tools. It allows us to fulfill Ezra Cornell’s motto, ‘Any person … any study.’”

Original Author: Sandy Do