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New Certificate Helps Colleges and Universities Launch Online Programs
[May 19, 2020]

New Certificate Helps Colleges and Universities Launch Online Programs

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- UPCEA, the Washington, D.C.-based association for college and university leaders in professional, continuing, and online education, today announced the launch of a new partnership that will provide on-demand training to help colleges and universities build their own online programs. The association will partner with pioneering instructional design firm iDesign to offer a new competency-based certificate program, called LX Pathways, for education professionals seeking skills in instructional design and online course development.

"At a time of unprecedented need for flexible and online offerings, we're seeing massive demand among our member institutions to develop in-house expertise and capabilities required to build and scale high-quality online programs," said Bob Hansen, CEO of UPCEA. "The collaboration with iDesign will help more colleges and universities develop their internal capacity to create online learning experiences that attract students and prepare them for in-demand careers."

Through the new partnership, professional and continuing education program leaders will gain access to courses in disciplines like instructional technology, learning design, and online course development. The certificate is based on core competencies to the instructional design process, including learning theories, project management, LMS fundamentals, mentoring and support, and accessibility requirements. The courses will enable participting college and university employees to access self-paced content, with optional opportunities to share their work and collaborate with peers.

Founded in 1915, UPCEA has for more than a hundred years supported the colleges and universities serving adult learners. The organization has worked to advance research and scholarship around the needs of online students. Earlier in 2020, UPCEA partnered with NASPA, the student affairs association whose membership includes more than 15,000 individuals, and student success coaching organization InsideTrack, to publish a report entitled "Future-Proof: Reimagining Student Affairs" focused on enhancing student support services for online learners.

"The current moment has shown that instructional design truly is an indispensable skill set needed at every institution, but professional development options are in short supply for faculty and staff looking to develop skills in this critical field," said Whitney Kilgore, co-founder and chief academic officer of iDesign. "This work is about empowering faculty and higher education professionals and helping them develop the skills required to create high-quality and engaging courses."

LX Pathways coursework is geared toward the needs of aspiring instructional design and technology professionals, who will receive micro-credentials on their way to earning a certificate after demonstrating essential competencies required for each career path.

To learn more about LX Pathways, please visit

About UPCEA: UPCEA is the association for leaders in professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For more than 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications.

About iDesign: iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether they are fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled, fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and course quality. From state university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions pair instructional design with technologies to enable great teaching. To learn more, please visit


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