Coming In At Number One

Apr 25 2014 | By Holly Evarts

“We are pleased to receive this important recognition of our online degree programs by U.S. News,” says Soulaymane Kachani, vice dean of Columbia Engineering and a professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.

“Columbia Video Network (CVN), the graduate online and distance education unit of the School, has enabled thousands of talented working professionals and remotely located students to pursue their degrees through our fully accredited engineering courses, certificates, and degree programs over the Internet, all without having to reside on our New York City campus.”

A pioneer in distance education since its inception in 1986, CVN officially launched online in 1998. During the fall, spring, and summer semesters, it offers more than 120 distinct courses. CVN students can enroll in one of 14 Master of Science programs, 21 certifications of professional achievement, and four professional degree programs. Columbia Engineering leveraged CVN’s experience and technology in the spring of 2013 to offer three online engineering courses to more than 125,000 students on the Coursera platform, as part of a University-wide experiment in massive open online courses, also known as MOOCs. CVN is currently enhancing its in-house learning management system by incorporating the Open edX platform, another player in the nascent MOOCs field.

Kachani chaired the Online Education Faculty Taskforce at the School, which made a number of recommendations to expand CVN’s portfolio for both on- and off-campus students. These include plans to flip both undergraduate and graduate on-campus courses; to build online content for remedial courses, primers, and professional and career development workshops; and to enable more engineering undergraduate students to study abroad by allowing them to enroll in CVN courses while leveraging Columbia’s Global Centers for part of their course work.

“Expanding CVN’s offerings and use will be of tremendous value to all our students, whether they are fully online, fully on campus, or in blended learning,” Kachani adds. “Our horizons will be broadened and diversified in ways that we are only beginning to imagine!”

Columbia Video Network is a pioneer in distance education. Established in 1986, it officially jumped online in 1998 and now offers more than 120 distinct courses.