President David Burks announced the expansion of the University’s educational offerings with the creation of Harding University Online, led by Senior Vice President of IS&T and CIO Keith Cronk. Dr. Susan Kehl, dean and associate professor of nursing, was appointed to serve as dean.
“The mission of online education will be to provide a Christ-centered, transformative Harding education through a framework encapsulating online and a variety of other nontraditional methodologies,” said President Burks.
In April 2020 a task force was created to explore possibilities of online education. Members of the task force included Burks, Cronk, Kehl, Dr. Marty Spears, Dr. Reet Cronk, Dr. Tim Westbrook and Becky Tubb (board representative).
“The task force concluded that we have reached a point where there is little doubt that online learning will be a major part of higher education in the future,” said Burks. “They also concluded that online learning can broaden the reach of Harding and enable us to take our mission and programs to all the world.”
HU Online will collaborate with colleges, departments and divisions across the University while simultaneously working to grow the University’s online presence worldwide. Currently, it offers one undergraduate distance program, nursing, while a second graduate distance program, organizational leadership, is under development. New programs and offerings will be launched later this year through 2022. HU Online also will work with the University’s existing online programs, but they will remain housed in their respective colleges.
“The distance/online degree program format allows students the flexibility to work and care for their families while furthering their education,” Kehl said.
Learn more about Harding University’s online programs at harding.edu/online.