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University of California Expanding Online Programming

During a Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, the University of California (UC) System announced plans to increase online course offerings across its 10 campuses. The movement towards online programming is intended to help the institution better manage costs, maintain tuition and increase access. According to UC President Mark Yudof, institutions across the system will introduce a variety of initiatives, such as incentive programs, to foster the development of online courses by faculty members.

The shift to create and promote more online education across UC campuses is aligned with California Governor Jerry Brown’s expectations. According to San Jose Mercury News, Brown wants California’s public colleges and universities to make education more accessible and more affordable by increasing online delivery. In the 2013-2014 budget, Brown proposed increasing funding for both the UC System and the California State University System by $250 million each, should those systems’ respective institutions reduce their spending, maintain tuition levels and move online.

“There’s a brute reality out there. There’s not a luxury of sitting in the present trajectory unless you don’t mind paying ever increasing tuition,” Brown said at the Board of Regents meeting.

The UC System already offers 250 for-credit online courses across all campuses. In order to further expand, Yudof plans to accept more non-UC students into online programs, as reported by San Jose Mercury News.

“It’s no secret that UC has hit a wall with regard to traditional instructional methods. The finances simply no longer exist to support the old model of instruction in many ways,” Yudof said at the board meeting.