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MSU Denver implements new online education fee in fall 2018

Students will benefit from consistently designed courses, faculty trained in online instruction, online student services and the rollout of fully online programs


Story by Matt Griswold, Director of Online Programs

MSU Denver has offered students scheduling flexibility through a range of online courses since the 1990s. However, student feedback has shaped a clear message that courses are not enough – they expect fully online pathways to graduation, consistently designed courses, faculty trained in online instruction, and comprehensive administrative and learning support services.

These advancements in online education at MSU Denver require a financial investment made possible by a $20-per-credit online education fee that will begin with fall 2018 online enrollments. To shape the services the online fee would support, students were asked to share their online learning experiences and perspectives on the potential fee.

One student stated, “It [online education] would allow me to work full time and go to school. I’ve had to choose school over work, which has caused a difficult time financially. With an ALL online curriculum, this isn’t a problem.”

Another observed, “Posting assignments on Blackboard is not enough to scaffold students’ needs. It would be better if there were weekly webinars with live chat and feedback.”

Students were asked if they would be willing to financially support fully online programs and resources, and 73 percent responded they were willing to pay a fee at an average rate of $22, $2 more than the approved $20-per-credit hour fee.

While the fee will begin fall 2018, the University is not waiting. Human Development and Family Studies is launching an online degree completion program and minor in Fall 2019, with some courses already available.

One student in a newly enhanced course said, “I have never seen or heard of an online class, or even some regular classes, this well-organized or executed. Every other student I talked to about this experience made the same really shocked face when I told them how great this course was run.”

Specifically, the fee will fund:

1. Design and accessibility enhancements to more than 700 existing online courses

2. Expanded online student services (enrollment, advising, tutoring, testing, career services)

3. Faculty training and support for online instruction

4. Development of a wide range of new courses

5. Creation of fully online programs to support retention and graduation

6. Support of existing and enhanced online education technology

For more information on MSU Denver online education, please reach out to Director of Online Programs Matt Griswold at