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Civic Engagement and Leadership Programs for Online Learners

Adding value for students and the institution.

June 28, 2019
 
 

An advanced Google search for Leadership and Civic Engagement results in a plethora of offices dedicated to supporting, guiding, and teaching students about a wide array of topics that are extremely relevant in 2019.

It's likely that most, if not all, of the institutions that feature leadership and civic engagement programs are offering online-only degree programs (or working to get online degrees fully operational).

However, how many civic engagement and leadership offices are running bespoke programs for online-only learners?

In an increasingly competitive online learning space, anything that can differentiate the benefits/value of an online degree is a big deal.

The value of leadership and civic engagement programs for online learners adds to the overall student experience and creates strategic differentiation for an online program/school. It's win-win.

When higher education went all in on online learning, it was almost always about revenue generation. Nowadays, the student experience is everything when it comes to retaining and preparing online learners for their future endeavors.

All of the moments that make a campus experience meaningful aren't included in online learning environments due to myriad differences in delivery, location, and expectation.

Creating digital civic engagement/learning/leadership experiences for online learners is a huge opportunity (and perhaps an ethical mandate) for higher education.

While I've written about this before from a top-level perspective, the wave is coming for digital transformation in terms of how student affairs holistically supports online learners.

Leadership and civic engagement programs that currently focus on brick-and-mortar students should take steps immediately to create strategies, processes, and plans for how they can support online learners.

 

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