What We Do

Support University Strategic Initiatives

The Office of the Vice Provost for Online Education champions the University’s ability to deliver seamless digital education by leading and supporting high-level institutional initiatives.

The University’s strategic plan includes thematic priorities such as Transforming Education, which holds significant areas that Online Education has a responsibility to lead and deliver. The foundation of Online Education is based on enhancing access while fulfilling the land-grant mission of the University. As with all University initiatives and strategic priorities, Online Education supports overarching efforts by aligning their own unit goals and objectives.

One Penn State 2025

An initiative of Penn State’s strategic plan, One Penn State 2025 will provide a guide for the implementation of seamless online access to curricula and processes across all of Penn State. Built upon the strong traditions of working as one University to provide world-class education, One Penn State 2025 drives us to be a more integrated, flexible, and responsive institution. By 2025, seamless online access to curricula and processes will be embedded in every part of Penn State across the Commonwealth, enabling us to become a 24/7/365, diverse, and inclusive institution. One Penn State 2025 represents a fluid, personalized, and collaborative environment that enables students, faculty, and staff to achieve their goals regardless of their location in the world.

One Penn State 2025 is steered by Guiding Principles.

  1. Provide a Seamless Student Experience
  2. Achieve Curricular Coherence
  3. Design Relevant and Responsive Programs
  4. Engage Learners Throughout Their Lifetimes
  5. Achieve the Highest Level of Efficient Use of University Resources

Learn more about One Penn State 2025.

COVID-19 Pivot to Online Instruction

When the COVID-19 pandemic required the entire University to pivot to online instruction within a week, individuals in World Campus and Outreach worked with colleagues across Penn State campuses to respond to the immediate needs of the University. The breadth of knowledge and experience of our teams was in high demand and contributed to the creation of content to prepare fellow Penn State staff, faculty, and partners to do their jobs, teach their courses, and support their students effectively and seamlessly. 

View the Penn State Keep Teaching website.

Commission for Adult Learners

Since the formation of the Commission for Adult Learners in 1998, the University has seen a consistent rise in the number of adults and veterans returning to Penn State to complete their undergraduate degrees. The Commission for Adult Learners is composed of faculty, staff, and students who are dedicated to contributing to a supportive academic climate for adult learners. Focused on attracting and retaining this unique population, they recommend changes in policy, practice, and procedures that may unknowingly have negative effects on adult learners, and foster development of programs and services across the University.

Visit the Commission for Adult Learners website to learn more about the commission’s advocacy.

collage of adult learners

University Data Governance Initiatives

Online Education partners in the University’s Data Governance initiatives within the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research (OPAIR). They contribute to University efforts to formalize data governance roles, responsibilities, and processes to help Penn State leverage institutional data as strategic assets and continue to mature its data-informed decision culture. As a sponsor for the Penn State Data Summit, the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Education demonstrates how individual units contribute to coordinated endeavors toward organizational excellence by making institutional data and strategic information easily accessible, clearly understood, and well-leveraged both within the University and across the Commonwealth.

Learn about data governance at the OPAIR website.

University Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Efforts

Online Education has developed significant outcomes through a multi-phased learning project aimed at defining a vision and strategy for World Campus CRM and how we engage and interact with learners throughout their time at Penn State. This project evolved to better position World Campus to support the University’s CRM initiative. Online Education leaders have served in the CRM User community at Penn State to support collective ownership of the strategic approach to customer service. Together they commit to improving collaboration between units within World Campus and the broader University by opening paths of data sharing between student-facing units, marketing, and technology to put learners first.

Online Education Strategic Initiatives

In support of our learners, we develop a broad range of program options, commit to academic ownership and research excellence, and strive to make engagement opportunities available. The Office of the Vice Provost for Online Education supports the success of all Penn State students by helping create pathways for them to begin their educational journeys, or to continue their learning and complete their degrees. Because of this, our initiatives are tied to the University’s priorities and are collaborative goals that are shared with partners across the University. Our five goals represent how integral these elements are to advancing our overall strategy and how committed we are to helping advance these across the University.

  • Conversion
  • Retention
  • Organization optimization
  • Program optimization
  • Foundational focus 

Image of a pencil broken into our five goals to represent how integral these elements are to advancing our overall strategy and how committed we are to helping advance these across the University.       conversion   retention   organizational optimization, program optimization, foundational focus