You will see more of Eastern Washington University on the local airwaves in the coming weeks and months, as EWU Outreach and Engagement just released two new TV spots promoting the university’s online classes and degree programs. It’s just one example of how EWU continues to adapt to the needs of the 21st century student and the ever-changing professional workforce.
The advertising campaign targets non-traditional students who want to go back to college. One 15-second spot features a busy mom who wasn’t able to finish school. It reminds viewers like her that their credits never expire and there is still time to finish what they started. The second 15-second commercial portrays a busy professional who finally finds the time to finish her degree on her schedule thanks to Eastern Online.
For Sheila Woodward, a professor of music at EWU, the messages in the commercials highlight the reasons she teaches some classes online.
“Degree aspirations may seem impossible for many who face challenges of parenthood, family responsibilities, employment, geographical location, health restrictions and more,” says Woodward. “Through online education, EWU empowers a diverse population in reaching their career goals.”
The campaign will target a specific demographic of people that EWU believes are most likely to be interested in the flexibility of an online program. For that reason, the TV spots will be placed in selective time-slots that cater to the appropriate audience, for example, during the evening news, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune (6–8 p.m. on KHQ).
EWU continues to expand its online offerings. Students can now find more than 500 classes offered online, as well as many complete undergraduate programs like health science and interdisciplinary studies, and graduate programs like the fully online MBA program and Master of Education.
EWU faculty members who teach classes online say the programs are very student-focused and are gaining in popularity.
“Students from pre-medical programs around the region reach out to me to ask when Biomedical Ethics online will next be offered,” says Kevin Decker, professor of philosophy at EWU. “Returning students of all ages—all around the world—take Introductory Ethics online.”
And while ease of access is often the key selling feature for prospective students, Woodward adds, the online class format is also better suited for some learners.
“Some prefer taking time to ponder before expressing their voice, others might be reticent to speak out in a face-to-face class,” she says. “Online learning offers digital formats in which every voice is heard and students can work at their own pace, according to their own schedules.”
The university is hoping that the ongoing success of Eastern Online, for both students and teachers, will encourage more faculty members to teach some of their classes in an online format.
“As a faculty member, I have appreciated the fact that Eastern Online has always put the control of curriculum in the instructor’s hands,” says Decker.