UPCEA Updates

The latest association offerings and updates. UPCEA is your association!

UPCEA Congratulates Senior Fellow Ray Schroeder on his Honorary Doctorate from the University of Illinois Springfield

Schroeder has been a leader in online learning since 1997

A man "Ray Schroeder" is dressed in a suit with a blue tie and wearing glasses.

Ray Schroeder, UPCEA Senior Fellow and Professor Emeritus and former Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the UIS commencement on May 13. 

Schroeder has been engaged in online learning since 1997 and is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in online education. He is founding director of UPCEA’s Center for Online Leadership, which led to the creation of the Summit for Online Leadership and other key strategic initiatives to advance the association’s role in online learning. Today, Ray is a sought-after speaker and thought leader, and curates multiple daily blogs, including the Professional, Continuing, and Online Education Update blog, in addition to his bi-weekly Online: Trending Now blog at Inside Higher Ed.

Ray is extraordinary. He’s the most prescient thinker I know, in any field, always helping others understand a future that sometimes only he sees. He brings deep knowledge of and passion for advancing the field of online education—its potential to transform institutions struggling in the new economy, its role in expanding access for time- and distance-challenged students, and its capacity to revolutionize teaching and learning,” said Bob Hansen, CEO of UPCEA. “And there is nobody more generous with his time than Ray. With patience, kindness and wisdom, he has mentored hundreds of online teachers and administrators.”

Over the course of his career, Schroeder has received many awards and honors. He received the 2002-2003 Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) Distinguished Scholar in Online Learning award, and was also individually honored with the 2002 Sloan-C Most Outstanding Achievement in Asynchronous Learning Networks. In 2010, Schroeder received the inaugural A. Frank Mayadas Leadership Award from Sloan-C, and joined 15 other national leaders as the Sloan-C Inaugural Fellows in the same year. Schroeder received the University of Illinois Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2011. In 2016, Schroeder received the Mildred B. and Charles A. Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Practitioner in Distance Education from the American Journal of Distance Education and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, as well as the United States Distance Teaching and Learning Association Hall of Fame Award. 

With degrees in speech from Augustana College and radio and television from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Schroeder began his academic career at Urbana-Champaign as a part-time instructor of radio-TV in 1972. He became a full-time instructor in 1975, and was hired at Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois Springfield) in 1977 as an assistant professor of communication. Continuing to teach full-time, Schroeder created the Sangamon State University Television Office in 1984. 

In 1997, Schroeder took a leadership role in the emerging field of online learning, establishing the Office of Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Illinois Springfield. The office’s efforts to assist in the delivery of online classes at the University of Illinois Springfield soon grew into support for entire degree programs. 

In 2009, the University of Illinois Springfield’s Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) was established through Schroeder’s efforts in collaboration with Provost Harry Berman. Along with the COLRS unit, in 2011 Schroeder launched the innovative eduMOOC, the largest online class at the time, with 2,700 students located in 70 countries worldwide. Schroeder served as Director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service from 1997 to 2013, and as Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning from 2013 to 2021.

UPCEA congratulates Ray on this extremely well-deserved honor! 


Other UPCEA Updates + Blogs

OPINION: 3 ways forward-thinking colleges usher in a new generation of students (The Hechinger Report)

October 31, 2017

Higher education has undergone a sea change. For most of today’s students, the iconic image of lazy afternoons on the…

Read More

Generation Z, A New Cohort of Adult Learners

October 30, 2017

Over the past two decades, professional, continuing, and online (PCO) education units of colleges and universities have reaped the rewards…

Read More

Get Involved with UPCEA

Professional development isn't just about attending sessions. Get involved with UPCEA to meet members from other institutions, share the great work your institution is doing, and hone your own skills. From submitting a session proposal for a conference or an article for a publication to serving as a volunteer on a conference planning committee, there are as many ways to engage with us!


Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.