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Spring Greetings from UCL!

executive team

Welcome, Gentle Reader, to the spring edition of the UCL newsletter!

In addition to ensuring the quality and fit of its suite of services and programs [1], University Connected Learning (UCL) is embarking on three major initiatives in the coming year and has proposed a few additional bold ideas to support President Randall’s vision of the University of Utah being a Top 10 public university with unsurpassed societal impact over the next ten years.

  • Online Master’s DegreesUCL has been asked to increase the reach and reputation of the U by supporting departments in the development and launch of professional master’s degrees with high market demand. UCL has increased both capabilities (different ways to support departments and students, including market analysis, financial modeling, recruitment, and student support) and capacity (especially for course production, marketing). With innovative design that reflects the high quality of the University of Utah’s programs, we expect these degrees to scale quickly. 
  • Micro-Credential InitiativeUCL is partnering with the Utah Informatics Initiative (UI2) to create non-credit, skills-focused micro-credentials for two audiences: undergraduates who would like to layer marketable technical skills on their degrees and working adults hoping to advance in or shift their careers. The initiative has four main components: academic and industry content partners, learning opportunities for students to acquire market-aligned technical skills, employment partners, and a service and credential infrastructure.
  • West Valley City:  UCL is in conversation with partners at the U and beyond about how we can offer academic and professional education and personal enrichment programs to meet community needs in West Valley City. We are still in the very early stages of planning, but we anticipate having a presence in an industry partner’s “community campus” and in the new UHealth space. 

During the summer, UCL will be partnering with Undergraduate Studies and faculty across campus to help design and research the effectiveness of the next generation of technology-enhanced classrooms (think hybrid!) and will be piloting pop-up exam centers with capabilities for proctored online exams.

If you’d like to lend your voice to or be involved with any of our initiatives, please reach out. Feedback, suggestions are always welcome. 

Deborah Keyek-Franssen, Ph.D.
AVP & Dean, University Connected Learning 

[1] Readers of UCL’s inaugural newsletter will remember that it is a truth universally acknowledged that every academic newsletter is in want of a footnote. So here’s this edition’s footnote! 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. You can learn more about our structure and what we offer the U at

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Last Updated: 4/28/23