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Project #158

Expanding the PSU Sphere of Influence: A Vision for Increased Access Through Highly Effective Online Programming in Business Education

The primary goal of the Fully Online Degrees project was to expand the School of Business Administration’s (SBA) reach by offering highly effective, online degree completion programs that enable more students to earn their college degree and achieve career goals. This was accomplished by offering well-designed online coursework for two fully online part-time undergraduate options within the business degree, developing and identifying student support that can be accessed by fully-online students and implementing an ePortfolio in coursework and at the program level to facilitate the bridge from degree to career.


  • Developed and delivered two fully online part-time, undergraduate degree completion cohort programs in the option areas of management and leadership and supply and logistics management. This resulted in the development of 19 courses,  two of which are new electives designed specifically for the fully online student.  Partnered with other departments for guaranteed access to additional courses for junior cluster (UNST).
  • Developed 30-hour course development training and delivered it in a summer one-week training as well as a winter training delivered in 15 two-hour modules.
  • Produced 20 video modules to serve as on-demand student resources for academic and career success (includes topics such as time management, academic integrity, and teamwork).
  • Supported the Provost’s Challenge ePortfolio project.
  • Designed ePortfolio implementation for fully online students which leverages the new PSU ePortfolio tool.  Developed online two-credit ePortfolio elective to refine final portfolio and port out to LinkedIn.  Developed ePortfolio video and extra-curricular ePortfolio training for students who cannot take elective course.
  • Supported the social enterprise coursework and internship program developed as SBA Provost’s Challenge projects.  These projects provide additional, elective options for fully-online students in the SBA and can be paired with the part-time undergraduate degree offerings for students requiring full-time status or seeking additional distinction through fully-online certificates.


The key accomplishments of this project include 

  1. Degree-access for students who may never be able to come to the PSU campus, 
  2. Well-designed coursework - 18 redesigned courses and one new course - that has built-in high-touch components insuring that, by design, no matter who teaches each course, the structure provides for face-to-face interaction and opportunities for relationship building between peers and between student and instructor, 
  3. Explicit instructions/mechanisms for fully-online students to access campus support such as career advising, 
  4. The development of 20 videos, called “academic and career modules”, that support students in key areas such as academic integrity, time management, emotional intelligence, resume writing, writing a research paper, using spreadsheets, personal finance, college finance, etc. 
  5. Two “customer sessions” were held with current students and again with prospective students.  The results of these sessions guided program design and resulted in a relationship with a major national corporation with whom we are partnering to build a student pipeline.  Several people learned this process and we continue to use it.
  6. A 30-hour course development training that can be offered in smaller chunks to improve online course design, and 
  7. The implementation of the ePortfolio in an SBA program, which will be a prototype for using it in our ground campus program.  

The impact on students (based primarily on student surveys)


  1. Flexibility now exists for students seeking a degree but unable to commit to a regular, on-campus schedule
  2. Cohorts provide a network for better learning, motivation to remain in the program and later professional networking
  3. Fully online students feel connected to PSU due to the fact that this special program has been created for them and they are no longer “invisible” in terms of support
  4. Students are receiving fully online instruction that is superior to our former baseline and to many other programs they have experienced
  5. Registration guarantee and time-to-degree guarantee provide relief to students who previously struggled to get the courses they needed when they needed them
  6. Students can advance in their current careers or pursue new opportunities (based on two personas we discovered in our customer sessions)


For more information, please see the project End-of-Project Report, Project Artifacts and Final Expenditure Report.


  • Jeanne Enders - Executive Director, School of Business Online Initiatives, School of Business Administration


  • Jeanne Enders - Executive Director, School of Business Online Initiatives, School of Business Administration
  • Samad Hinton - Associate Director of Course and Program Design, Office of Academic Innovation
  • Saori Clark - Academic Advisor to Online reTHINK Programs, School of Business Administration
  • TC Dale - Senior Instructor, School of Business Administration
  • Gary Steadman - Associate Director, School of Business Administration  Online Programs, School of Business Administration
  • Jennifer Lucena - Technology Support Specialist, School of Business Administration
  • Nathanial Garrod - Retention Support Specialist, School of Business Administration
  • Ty Marbut - Video Coordinator, School of Business Administration
  • Ally Nguyen - First Year D2L Support Specialist, School of Business Administration
  • Melissa Pirie - Faculty Development and Training Coordinator, School of Business Administration
  • Scott Marshall - Interim Dean, School of Business Administration - Year One Sponsor
  • Erica Wagner - Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, School Business Administration - Year Two Sponsor



Project Management Plan 

Project Plan

Status Reports

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Original Proposal