Online Leadership and Administration

UPCEA is dedicated to advancing quality online learning at postsecondary institutions and is uniquely focused on excellence at the highest levels–leadership, administration, strategy. Learn from the experts as you network with our engaged community from leading universities who steward the online enterprise at their institutions.

UPCEA provides resources for online leaders ranging from industry-leading events, quality standards and best practices, research and benchmarking, and consulting.

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News & Events

Online Leadership Roundtable

The annual meeting of the Council for Chief Online Learning Officers (C-COLO), the body for senior leaders charged with driving online strategy at the unit or campus level. C-COLO and its members are focused on leveraging the strategic potential of online learning to transform our institutions and our society.

Each UPCEA member institution may have a representative on C-COLO who may attend the Online Leadership Roundtable and be at the forefront of UPCEA’s growing number of online initiatives.

Interested in learning more about the C-COLO? Contact Julie Uranis, Senior Vice President of Online and Strategic Initiatives, [email protected].

Professional, Continuing, and Online Education News

Each and every day, Senior Fellow at UPCEA and Associate Vice Chancellor of Online Learning at University of Illinois Springfield Ray Schroeder brings you curated news articles.

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Get Involved

Join the Online Administration Network

The Online Administration Network (OA) serves as a bridge between the administrative functions of online learning (marketing, online student services, program development, etc.) and the design of online learning. Participation in the OA Network provides access to authentic institutional online operational models, best practice trends in online management, professional analysis of learning design applications, and the formulation of best practices in the use of technology and learning design in online instruction.

Join the eDesign Collaborative Network

The UPCEA eDesign Collaborative (eDC) Network serves higher education instructional design teams (instructional designers, multimedia developers and team administrators) seeking networking and professional development. Participation in the eDesign Collaborative Network provides access to a community of professionals who are interested in best practices for online course creation.

Gain Knowledge and Advance Your Career with UPCEA’s Online Professional Development

Learn from expert facilitators and connect with peers online as a part of UPCEA's Professional Development courses. Interested in earning the PCO Pro Certificate from UPCEA? Get the essential skills and knowledge you need with UPCEA’s Learning Center! Bringing you the leading experts in the field of professional, continuing, and online (PCO) education, these programs offer high-value and relevant content for practitioners at all levels.

Select and bundle five courses from the Foundations Series and Professional Practice Series.

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Resources and Publications

UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership

Online education is critical for the future of America’s universities, and require institutional strategy and structure to accomplish this major undertaking. These Hallmarks focus on the features and principles that will create opportunities for students that far exceed anything already achieved in higher education, take pedagogy to a new level, and demonstrate the capacity of universities to be an even more vital force in our society.

Online: Trending Now

Unique, biweekly insights and thought leadership from Ray Schroeder, Senior Fellow at UPCEA.

Imagine We Are Starting a University Now

September 22, 2022

In so very many ways, we in higher education have fallen behind business, industry, governments, and society as a whole. We are offering programs and products that may have been relevant 50 or a hundred years ago but are not in touch with the society of the fourth industrial revolution. Learners currently are given few forward-thinking,…

Longevity Declining Among Higher Ed Employees: What is There to Lose?

September 8, 2022

More than half of college employees say they are likely to leave their jobs in the next year as reported in a new survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, CUPA-HR. The most common reasons listed for seeking new employment were the prospect of higher pay, an opportunity to work remotely,…

Higher Ed – Meet GPT-3: We Will Never Be the Same!

August 25, 2022

We have read for years that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make us more efficient and effective. Certainly, we are seeing the impact today in gathering big data; identifying and predicting trends; and in providing quick answers to the run-of-the-mill questions from students and others about calendars, processes, and services. We are seeing chatbots supporting those in…

Online Learning Impacting the Carbon Footprint

August 18, 2022

Climate change is heating up — perhaps online learning is part of the solution. Around the world, new record high temperatures are soaring. These changes are stressing the health, budgets, productivity and tempers of many of those living in non-polar regions. Scientists tell us the cumulative effects of eons of anthropogenic pollution production coupled with natural…

Online Learning, From the Margins to the Center

August 5, 2022

Online learning has evolved over the past 25 years from a niche position on the margins of higher ed to the leading driver of growth in enrollment and innovation. Research collaboration, information sharing and informal instruction has roots deep in the development of the internet and analogous networking such as the PLATO system prior to even the…

The Failing Links in Higher Ed

July 14, 2022

Higher education is suffering from the failure of a couple of essential linkages, resulting in mega-declines in enrollments—down three million over the past decade. I think of higher education as a long chain of processes, services and functionalities that are broadly designed to improve society as a whole. These include such links in the chain…

The Future of Higher Ed Immersed in Web 3.0

June 23, 2022

Not everyone agrees about what Web 3.0 will be, let alone how it will impact higher education, but the time to begin preparing is now. It’s not at all surprising that a definitive vision for the future internet has not yet been shared, because there is no agreement on what the next iteration of the…

Credentials: Closing the Relevancy Loop

June 9, 2022

One of higher ed’s challenges is to close the loop on relevancy for every student in every module of every class. Too often in our classes we present history, equations, assorted facts, data and retrospective analyses without supplying the current and future context of application of all of those components. The applicability of the class…

Credential Train Is Leaving the Station—Get on Board

May 26, 2022

In 1997, Sylvia Manning, then VPAA of the University of Illinois system, later president of the Higher Learning Commission, declared, “The online learning train is leaving the station—get on board or be left behind!” That prescient message by one of higher education’s most astute leaders of the past quarter century certainly proved to be true.…

Communicating the Realities of Higher Ed in 2022

May 12, 2022

This is a challenging time to lead, as a provost, dean, director or department chair at a college or university. That is not to say that there are not successes and rewards to be achieved, but they come harder than in decades past. One can say that every era in our field has brought challenges.…


UNBOUND is UPCEA’s e-publication in magazine format, designed to showcase thought leadership, case studies, research and other valuable contributions to the field. UNBOUND welcomes articles from all those who are involved in higher education, especially those who work with adult students.

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  • Access to useful research
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  • Exclusive member content

UPCEA has the knowledge and resources colleges and universities need to serve adult learners, online learners and contemporary students.

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Contact Us!

To learn more about how UPCEA can help you and your organization navigate the vastly changing landscape of online, professional and continuing education please complete this form or email us at [email protected]

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