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December 11, 2000

U.S. Open University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Partner for Joint Distance M.S. Degree Program in Information Systems

Baltimore, Md. - Growing the information technology workforce by making IT education more accessible is the goal of a new online master's in information systems (MSIS) degree program announced today by the U.S. Open University (USOU) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The flexible master's will provide students with the knowledge and skills to successfully manage and address information systems and technology-related issues.

"For the first time, a distance learning university has partnered with a traditional one to bring widely respected information technology expertise to full-time working professionals using U.S. Open University's tried and tested Supported Open Learning™ methods," said USOU Chancellor Richard Jarvis. "Whether students are interested in modernizing their knowledge, updating their skills or broadening their professional repertoire, they can now reach their goals in this joint MSIS program, without having to spend time on campus."

Recognized as a leader among research universities in information technology education and workforce development, UMBC's undergraduate, master's and doctoral IT programs currently enroll more than 2,500 students.

"UMBC has a successful track record of recruiting and training IT professionals in the Baltimore-Washington region. Partnering with U.S. Open University will give us the ability to deliver our program to a much wider audience, therefore developing a broader base of skilled IT workers," said UMBC Graduate School Dean and Vice Provost for Research Scott A. Bass.

Courses offered in the MSIS program this spring include Virtual Classroom Learning, Software Programs: Usage and Design Concepts, Management Information Systems, Database Management Systems and Modern System Design and Analysis. Courses range from two to four credit hours each and cost $470 a credit hour, which includes books, CDs, software, study guides, audio and videotapes delivered directly to students. Courses may be studied individually, or in pairs. Students may also choose to study only one course now to meet a specific training or development need and continue theprogram at a later date.

Students can apply for admission to the MS in Information Systems Program (MSIS) program and register for courses online at www.open.edu. MSIS courses start January 29th and will be offered each semester.About USOUUnited States Open University is a nonprofit university specializing in high-quality, part-time education for working adults. US Open University is the sister school of The Open University, chartered over 30 years ago in the United Kingdom. Recognized as the world's leader in part-time education for working adults, The Open University currently serves over 260,000 students in 41 countries. US Open University uses The Open University's distinctive Supported Open Learning ™ method, specifically designed for learning at home and at work. Each course combines a variety of learning materials, which may include audio and videotapes, CDs, software, textbooks and study guides. Eachstudent is assigned an Associate Faculty member who provides expertise, feedback and personal one-on-one support. Students download their study calendar, assignments and other learning resources from specialized course websites and can interact with their classmates and instructor via web conferencing.

About UMBCUMBC, An Honors University in Maryland, is a selective, public research university that attracts high-achieving students to its undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and engineering. Recognized as a leader in information technology degree production, UMBC has developed strong ties with industry in the Baltimore region and beyond. Information Systems is one of the largest academic programs at UMBC.

For more information, contact:
Charlie Melichar, UMBC Director of Media Relations, 410-455-6380, melichar@umbc.edu
Josephine Feldman, USOU Director of Marketing, 720-859-1500, j.a.feldman@open.edu
Janet Bartleson, USOU Public Relations Manager, 720-859-1500, j.l.bartleson@open.edu

Posted by dwinds1 at December 11, 2000 12:00 AM