Academic excellence through online opportunities.

Mercyhurst University’s online opportunities bring the engaging classroom experience, standout faculty and cutting-edge learning resources of a Mercyhurst education to students anywhere in the world. In a range of graduate programs and graduate certificates, you’ll build the critical skills and leadership abilities needed to achieve your professional goals while enjoying the convenience and flexibility of an online education that works with your busy schedule.

The Office of Distance Learning (ODL) has been created to provide faculty at Mercyhurst the support to create, develop, and deliver online courses that will allow for more flexibility to current students, enrolled and residing at Mercyhurst, while also expanding opportunities for potential students, outside the Mercyhurst geographic region. Additional support will include consultation on program development, course deployment and management, and technology training. The office is located in Weber Hall, which is attached to the Hammermill Library.

Opportunities for Growth

  • Expand and enhance graduate program delivery to working professionals.
  • Provide continuing education and professional development to alumni and the resident workforce.
  • Create an alternative to taking summer courses at other institutions for student enrolled in campus-based programs.
  • Foster degree completion efforts and the ability to graduate in a timely manner.
  • Strategically expand educational offerings outside our geographic area.

Strategic Plan

With unconventional offerings comes the responsibility to understand, communicate, and apply services to help students enter into the new educational opportunities online. Our University must offer academic courses and programs that are superior in value, provide comprehensive student support services, and demonstrate quality through ongoing assessment and evaluation.

  • Increase enrollment by targeting new online offerings expanding the University’s educational reach.
  • Establish an infrastructure support model for distance education and online learning.
  • Obtain state authorization for online programs to assure that our distance education programs are available for students outside of the state of Pennsylvania.
  • Develop online programs and courses in alignment with quality, assessment, accessibility, and accreditation standards.
  • Create a university wide resource system for the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of distance education programs and courses.
  • Provide a robust, consistent user experience across all university offered online programs and coursework.
  • Collaborate with university support services including information technology, admissions, and student financial services in the provision of online services.
  • Provide a student-centered distance education experience led by engaged faculty and supported by research-based best practices in online course design.
  • Implement support and response structures for faculty and students to facilitate the successful completion of online programs and courses.

How We Can Help

  • Collaborate with faculty to assess instructional needs, identify outcomes, establish project completion timelines, and carry out the ADDIE content development process.
  • Participate in the development, revision, and evaluation of online courses in the Blackboard learning management system.
  • Offer assistance to ensure new and revised content is tied to both program and course-level outcomes, objectives, and assessments.
  • Provide support for various projects related to distance education, online pedagogy, and instructional technology.
  • Design and develop creative learning solutions such as templates, animations, graphics, and videos to enhance online delivery.
  • Develop teaching aids such as training handbooks, demonstration models, multimedia visual aids, computer tutorials, and reference workshops.
  • Deliver individual or group trainings covering a range of technical, operational, and/or pedagogical areas of distance education.

Out of State Students

Authorization requirements for distance education vary by state. Due to new federal regulations, any institution offering distance education programs and practicum experiences in states other than their own must receive authorization or be a SARA approved institution. Mercyhurst University is currently in the process of evaluating and pursuing such approvals, as necessary and appropriate, for online program delivery.

State regulations and professional licensure requirements can change frequently and often without notice, so for the most up to date information students are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate state professional licensing board for their most current requirements. For a list of professional licensure contact information, please review our State Authorization webpage.

International Students

Mercyhurst University works to provide global access to its distance education programs. While we carefully monitor issues related to international authorization and licensure, it is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements surrounding whether the online degree selected will be recognized in the country of residence. International students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license should also confirm with the appropriate professional licensing board in their country of residence whether the degree is recognized when seeking licensure or certification.