Welcome, Reader, to the inaugural UCL blog!
UCL—or University Connected Learning—is the new moniker for a combined service unit that over time and collectively has had many names.1 Through partnerships and collaboration with University academic programs, UCL provides the enabling services, programs, and tools to connect U students and community learners with flexible educational offerings, allowing them to learn, return, and refresh throughout their careers and a lifetime of learning.
During the past year, in addition to serving faculty, students, staff, and the community throughout the pandemic, UCL has aligned its staff and programs to meet the many challenges facing higher education: new work and workforce realities, accelerating technological change, shifting student expectations. We have used CARES funding to provide needed technology to help bridge the digital divide and to create professional development programs that help community learners gain valuable, marketable skills. We have honed our capabilities and increased our capacity to support the development of new curricular programs—from concept through marketing and launch—across different modalities (online, hybrid, IVC). We have helped launch a campus-wide inclusive design/design justice community of practice. We are eager to help the U continue to enhance, innovate, and scale educational opportunities for a lifetime of learning.
Although the UCL name is new, the staff, and especially their dedication and expertise remain the same. We stand at the ready to be your partner.
1 It is a truth universally acknowledged that an academic newsletter must be in want of a footnote. I’d list the names in the body of this welcome letter, but then I’d risk reinforcing the old over the new. For curious readers who have made it this far, those names include a mix of marketing brands and organizational names. Some of them will still exist, just not as overarching unit names. Here is a smattering of such names and acronyms: TLT, UOnline, CECE (Continuing Education and Community Engagement), AOC, DOCE, DCE, etc.