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As Seen in The Bulletin
Vol. 106 No. 1
Proven Everywhere You Are: Meet Ron Kishen, VP of USciences New Online Education Division
In the spring of 2019, USciences established a new division, USciences Online, devoted to developing online courses and bringing the excellent education delivered on campus to students everywhere.
USciences brought on Ron Kishen to lead the division following a nationwide search. Kishen is an accomplished businessman with vast experience in online education, having worked as senior vice president at University of Phoenix and Kaplan University.
The first courses offered by USciences Online will launch in January 2020, with a focus on healthcare and science curriculum. Additional courses will be added in the fall with the goal to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as certificate programs.
The Bulletin sat down with Kishen:
Q: Why is now a good time for USciences to offer online education?
A: Online higher education has become mainstream, and more and more students are looking for the flexibility that online education allows. Over 35 million adults have some college credits but no degree. Online programs give those adults the opportunity to finish what they started.
Q: What makes USciences Online unique compared to other schools with online programs?
A: USciences, with its prestigious history and proven outcomes, stands out compared to other online programs. We are focused, in our fields of expertise. We are not trying to be all things to everyone like many other online universities seem to be.
Q: How can those working in healthcare and science fields benefit from USciences Online?
A: Our options will provide access to lifelong education and training to prospective students, including alumni. Technology changes, as do disciplines within science and healthcare. It is critical in today’s world to stay current in order to be competitive as an individual, institution, business, or industry. USciences Online provides for more nimbleness to adapt to changing skills and technology while providing a more flexible method for delivery of education.
Q: How do you see the future of higher education and how it can integrate new technology?
A: We are just scratching the surface as technology is evolving and there are many businesses out there looking to find better, more effective ways to deliver education. Take virtual labs as an example. They will allow hands-on experiences to be delivered online and remotely.... I think we will see more university/industry partnerships where the universities will develop and deliver on industry-specific skills and competencies. We will be in a good position to deliver these skills with USciences Online.
Q: What were you like as a college student?
A: As a college student, I was not the traditional student. I needed to move out after high school and support myself while pursuing a college education. I found a manufacturing job that reimbursed me for tuition and books as long as I received a 3.0 GPA or better. I worked from 4:00 p.m. to midnight five days a week and every other weekend, so I was not involved with nor did I have the opportunity to engage in traditional college activities. I would have greatly benefitted from the opportunity to participate in online education, so I am excited to offer that option for others.
Q: How will USciences Online impact the traditional on-campus experience?
A: The increased brand and reputational awareness of USciences Online will bring increased attention to our campus and all that it has to offer. And as USciences Online begins to assist us in growing our overall student census, we will be in a better position to invest in the physical campus and resources than we are able to today.
Q: How will USciences Online benefit USciences?
A: First and foremost, it will allow us to extend our mission of delivering a quality education that provides for meaningful outcomes to students beyond the geographical boundaries associated with our traditional brick and mortar campus and classroom teaching. USciences Online will allow us to deliver degrees and certificates to virtually anyone in the world that has access to the internet. This is, of course, beneficial to USciences in that it will provide the opportunity to grow the University and generate revenue that we can reinvest into the institution, both the online and the physical campus modalities.
Q: What will your expertise bring to the development of USciences Online?
A: My hope, after spending 9 years with Kaplan University and University of Phoenix, is that I can help build the foundation and structure we need to deliver a quality online experience that exceeds our students’ expectations.
Q: How did you decide that this was the right opportunity for you?
A: Frankly, I was impressed with the history and tradition of the University, and seeing the potential has me excited about the opportunity to expand the offerings of USciences to a far broader audience.
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