Monday, September 20, 2010

UIS honored with two national awards for excellence and leadership in online learning

The University of Illinois Springfield is being recognized with two awards from the Sloan Consortium, a national group of online educators, for excellence and leadership in online learning.

The online Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership (MTL) program is the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Online Program Award.

“The competition for this award was particularly strong this year, and the selection committee felt that the UIS online program was exemplary,” said Burks Oakley II, chair of the Awards Selection Committee for the Sloan Consortium.

A distinguished committee of leaders in higher education was responsible for evaluating the nominations. They praised the MTL program in the award nomination saying it “provides a high quality program to teachers in rural sections of Illinois who would not otherwise have the opportunity to complete a graduate degree.”

The MTL program, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is designed specifically for educators in a classroom situation who wish to assume leadership roles in their environments. Coursework is conducted entirely online and all projects are designed with a classroom application focus. Since 2001, the MTL program has made it possible for 593 teachers to obtain their masters degrees and become leaders in their schools. The program is represented by students from 27 states and 5 international countries.

“To be the recipient of this award speaks to the quality and rigor of the curriculum, our talented faculty and providing access for educators wherever they live,” said Scott Day, associate professor & chair of the Department of Educational Leadership.

MTL students consistently express satisfaction with their learning experience, including course and fairness, instructor and peer interaction, and provision of support services. Karen Swan, James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at UIS, was responsible for nominating this program for this prestigious award.

Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service (COLRS) at the University of Illinois Springfield is the recipient of the inaugural A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award. The award is the highest individual recognition offered by the Sloan Consortium and was voted on by a committee of leaders in higher education.

“The selection committee felt that Schroeder's leadership in the field of online learning on a national scale has been, and continues to be, transformative,” said Oakley.

Shari Smith, associate director of COLRS at UIS, was responsible for nominating Schroeder for this prestigious award.

“I am humbled by this award. It is a high honor to be recognized by my colleagues across the country for leadership in our field with an award named for the ‘father of online learning’ Frank Mayadas, who has meant so much to our university and to me personally,” said Schroeder. “This recognition is rightly shared by our wonderful colleagues at the Center, our faculty, and by the staff of UIS who collectively have built UIS online into a model that is widely recognized, respected and emulated for excellence in online learning.”

The Sloan Consortium is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of education. Membership in the Sloan Consortium provides knowledge, practice, community, and direction for educators. Originally funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, it is now a non-profit, member sustained organization.

UIS has been awarded three Outstanding Achievement Awards by the Sloan Consortium in 2002, 2003 and 2006. No other university in the country has received more outstanding achievement awards. UIS was recognized with an Institution-Wide Excellence Award in 2007 and the Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education in 2008.

The Outstanding Online Program Award and Mayadas Leadership Award will be presented to UIS during the 16th Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, November 4, 2010.

For more information contact Derek Schnapp, director of Public Relations at 217/206-6716 or

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations UIS !