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Media Advisory: Wake Forest University joins semester online to offer for-credit online courses to top undergraduate students worldwide

Wake Forest is added to Consortium of top-tier universities offering a new online learning initiative

By Cheryl Walker ('88) Office of Communications and External Relations

Semester Online, the first-of-its-kind program to offer for-credit undergraduate courses through a consortium of top-tier universities, announced today that Wake Forest University is joining the consortium and will offer its first course in 2014. In a partnership with 2U, Inc., Semester Online offers rigorous, small, online, for-credit courses in real time, to qualified college students from anywhere in the world. Wake Forest joins the Semester Online growing roster of nationally renowned colleges and universities including Boston College, Brandeis University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, and Washington University in St. Louis.

In Spring 2014, Wake Forest will offer its first Semester Online course, Introduction to Bioethics, which will be taught by professor of biology Carole Browne. The course will examine contemporary issues in bioethics, including responsible conduct in research, implications of technological advances in biology, environmental issues, and controversies in health care and medical practices.

As a nationally recognized ‘collegiate university,’ Wake Forest combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university, ranking among the best national universities in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report and other rankings.

“Wake Forest’s time-tested model of education, defined by a highly personal approach and a focus on educating the whole person, is characterized by small classes and a tight-knit community,” said Rogan Kersh, Wake Forest University provost. “We have engaged in an ongoing campus-wide dialogue about how Wake Forest might best utilize online tools and other technological innovations to effectively enhance our high-touch, face-to-face educational experience. Semester Online is the first online program that is able to offer this level of engagement to our students and faculty.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Wake Forest University to continue offering the best and most engaging online education for students and faculty,” said Andrew Hermalyn, executive vice president and general manager of Semester Online at 2U, Inc.

Through a live state-of-the-art virtual classroom, students will participate in discussions and exercises, attend lectures and collaborate with peers while guided by renowned professors from Consortium schools, engaging in as close to the on-campus class experience as is currently possible online. Courses are carefully designed to be of similar quality as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and students will receive credit and an official transcript from the institution offering the class.

“At the heart of our liberal arts commitment is helping our students to develop the abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and create original work— which leads to lives of passion and purpose,” said Jacque Fetrow, dean of Wake Forest College.  “We are exploring how technology can be used as a valuable supplement to this commitment. The Semester Online partnership will allow our students to continue taking classes towards a degree while studying abroad, taking advantage of an internship opportunity or fulfilling family obligations – that might otherwise mean putting their studies on hold.”

Information about Semester Online courses and the application process is now available at www.semesteronline.org. You can follow Semester Online at twitter.com/SemesterOnline and facebook.com/SemesterOnline.

About Wake Forest University

Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. The school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at www.wfu.edu.

About Semester Online

Semester Online is the first-of-its-kind program to offer for-credit undergraduate courses through a consortium of top-tier universities that includes Boston College, Brandeis University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, Wake Forest University and Washington University in St. Louis. In partnership with 2U, Semester Online offers rigorous, online, for-credit courses to college students from anywhere in the world. For more information, please visit semesteronline.org.

About 2U, Inc.

2U is revolutionizing higher education by developing the world’s best online educational experiences in partnership with leading universities. Founded in 2008 by a team of education veterans, 2U provides universities with the technology, infrastructural support and capital they need to transform on-campus programs into state-of-the-art web-based programs. 2U’s partner programs deliver unparalleled student retention, satisfaction and outcomes. For more information, please visit 2U.com.

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