UF Online recaps accomplishments in 2016-2017 annual report

GAINESVILLE, FL – UF Online has released its third annual report, detailing a transformative year for UF’s online undergraduate programs. The academic year of 2016-2017 has been marked by several new initiatives that result in powerful, versatile, and valuable academic programs coupled with a robust and thriving online learning community for students.

“We are immensely proud of all of our accomplishments in the past academic year and I am thankful for our incredible UF Online faculty, staff, and students for making it all possible,” says Evangeline Cummings, Assistant Provost and Director of UF Online. “I am excited for the future of UF Online as we continue to move forward while remaining committed to offering the best online undergraduate experience for our students.”

Some of the notable achievements of UF Online in 2016-2017 include the following:

-- The launch of a first-of-its-kind virtual campus for UF Online students. Like the Plaza of the Americas, a popular gathering spot for residential students on campus, The Plaza is its virtual counterpart – a forum for UF Online students to discuss courses, form study groups or simply converse. With groups dedicated to every major and the opportunity for student-created groups, students with shared interests can forge connections online and foster a Gator community, no matter where they live.

-- Debut of optional fee package for online students. Students who live in Gainesville or who often visit the city have the chance to engage with the campus community by opting into this package, giving them access to recreation and fitness facilities, the Student Health Care Center, student rates for Gator football games and more. At the same time, this initiative keeps costs low for students who live in another state or who decide not to participate in on-campus services.

-- Innovative gains in science labs for students. A new Evolutionary Biology lab was introduced in Fall 2016 to very positive student reviews. Our faculty have also pioneered two online physics labs with custom physics kits shipped to all students. These kits enable students to collect and analyze authentic data as part of UF-developed lab experiments conducted in their homes. The lectures and labs were developed to provide a comprehensive and complementary learning experience for online students.

UF Online’s undergraduate programs have continued to expand. Here’s a quick overview by the numbers:

-- Through the end of Summer 2017, UF Online has graduated over 950 students to date.

-- Enrollment in UF Online’s undergraduate programs is up 34 percent over the prior year.

-- More than 360 UF faculty across 13 colleges continue to design and teach courses for UF Online, ensuring that our academic rigor is equal to that of courses taught residentially.

For a more detailed description of UF Online’s 2016-2017 academic year, check out the annual report.