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University of Denver Partners With 2U Inc.

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Theresa Ahrens

University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp signs a partnership with Andrew Hermalyn, executive vice president of strategic partnerships for 2U inc. They are joined by Dean Brent Chrite and Dean Amanda Moore McBride.
University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp signs a partnership with Andrew Hermalyn, executive vice president of strategic pa

The University of Denver today announced a partnership with 2U Inc. to launch two online degree programs and thus extend access to the University’s high-quality offerings beyond the immediate Denver market.

The new MBA@Denver will offer an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, while the new MSW@Denver will allow students to pursue an online Master of Social Work (MSW). The two options will serve as new Domestic Graduate Programs (DGP) for 2U, which partners with top-rated institutions such as Northwestern, UC-Berkeley and Yale to provide comprehensive, rigorous and quality digital education.

“The University of Denver is pushing the boundaries in professional education across many industries,” said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “Through our partnership with 2U, students far and wide will have the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of our faculty in business and social work — expanding the impact our graduates have around the globe.”

This move grows out of DU’s strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025, which calls for the University to expand access and opportunities for students from all walks of life.

“We know that our future leaders, particularly those who would benefit from the excellent graduate degrees that DU offers, already have busy professional and personal lives,” said Provost Gregg Kvistad. “Offering two of our hallmark programs — the MBA and the MSW — in a hybrid format provides the benefit of that intellectual engagement and training to people who would otherwise not have that opportunity."

Kvistad added that partnering with 2U to provide education in a digital space is necessary for meeting the evolving needs of 21st century students.

Each of the two new programs will offer the distinctive experiences that characterize a DU education. The MBA@Denver program will draw on expertise in DU’s Daniels College of Business to offer a curriculum of the same academic quality and rigor found in the college’s on-campus counterparts. This new program is designed specifically for early- and mid-career professionals who wish to continue in their careers while pursuing an MBA.

MBA@Denver students and faculty will meet weekly in live online classes in an intimate seminar-style setting. Between live class sessions, students will study interactive course content created by Daniels faculty. Students will also come together for deep immersive experiences, allowing them to develop their leadership capacities, interact with peers, engage in action-learning activities, and network with corporate partners, entrepreneurs and faculty members.

Because today’s global marketplace is defined by profound disruptions, competitive pressures and demographic shifts, the program also will help students develop and strengthen technology skills and the requisite adaptive capacities.

“We’re thrilled to develop a new MBA experience that will position professionals to become immediate value creators in this volatile economic landscape,” said Brent Chrite, dean at the Daniels College. “Our new online MBA program in partnership with 2U embraces innovative technologies and addresses the many demands of a changing and increasingly connected global workforce. MBA@Denver will help working professionals advance their careers through MBA studies with Daniels faculty without relocating from their communities.”

The Graduate School of Social Work and 2U will collaborate on MSW@Denver. The Graduate School of Social Work launched an online MSW in 2016 and now will leverage 2U’s platform and refined infrastructure to attract, enroll, educate, support and graduate their online students. Committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and community leadership and service, the school’s mission is to foster social responsibility regarding social and economic justice, quality of life and multicultural communities, based on equality for all people. The social work master’s on-campus program is ranked in the top 7 percent of all accredited programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

MSW@Denver will feature collaborative live classes that facilitate face-to-face interaction; high-quality, interactive coursework developed by social work faculty who teach on campus; and hands-on internship experience at field sites chosen with each student’s career goals in mind. The MSW@Denver curriculum will provide a generalist perspective on social work practice, preparing students to work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations. Partnering with 2U also supports the school’s commitment to social justice, accessibility and inclusion—both operationally and substantively. An initial concentration offering in trauma-informed care will be followed by offerings that will create new markets for social work skills in diversity and inclusion, community development and nonprofit management.

“At the Graduate School of Social Work, we are committed to innovations in social work education and individualized options for learning,” said Amanda Moore McBride, dean of the Graduate School of Social Work. “Our partnership with 2U will allow us to significantly expand access to our quality social work education for more aspiring social workers, while allowing our students to live and practice in their communities where their skills and support are needed.”