Purpose and Goals
The purpose of the OAO is to create and maintain an operating unit within the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) to develop model academic outreach programs and distance learning course applications to serve the needs of students and constituents in North Carolina and worldwide, and to conduct research on the impact and quality of academic outreach distance education. Key to the success of OAO is fidelity to entrepreneurial, business, and marketing management models to support the program development and infrastructure needs of OAO.
Goals of the HHS Office of Academic Outreach
The specific goals of the HHS OAO include, but are not limited to the following:
- Develop high quality and cost-effective academic outreach programs and distance learning courses consistent with the UNCG and HHS Strategic Plan.
- Apply entrepreneurial business and marketing management principles to the administration of academic outreach and distance learning initiatives in HHS.
- Establish model academic outreach programs and distance learning course applications in HHS disciplines that meet the needs of learners and other stakeholders.
- Promote academic outreach and distance learning as a development opportunity in HHS and its departments.
- Secure external funds from governmental, foundation, corporate and private sources to design, implement, and evaluate model interventions.
- Serve as an incubation site for Small Business Innovation in Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grants.
- Conduct state-of-the-art research and evaluation studies on academic outreach programs and distance learning course applications including cost models and business plans.
- Publish research and professional practice manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals.
- Provide technical support to other constituents, both internal and external to UNCG, for appropriate practice in the design, implementation and evaluation of academic outreach programs and distance learning applications.
The staff of the Office of Academic Outreach has developed undergraduate and masters level academic outreach programs and distance learning courses in health education and health promotion; developed interactive websites related to worksite health promotion, advocacy, and distance education; administered the development and delivery of masters level courses for a national professional association; and published manuscripts in high quality journals related to health education and health promotion. Other accomplishments of the OAO are listed below:
- OAO staff developed the Online Degree Completion Program in Health Studies at UNCG. This program allows community college graduates from North Carolina across the US and worldwide to complete the final two plus years of study to earn a Bachelors Degree in Public Health Education from UNCG.
- OAO staff developed the North Carolina Effective Health Education Continuing Education Program for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to allow North Carolina Physical Education teachers to receive a Health Education endorsement.
- OAO staff designed, marketed, and delivered the Distance Education Masters of Arts Program in Health Education while at the University of Alabama. This program has had over 300 graduates and generated millions of dollars for the university and the Department of Health Science.
- OAO staff provided administrative and course design support for the Health Education and Promotion (HEP) Network, a joint venture of the American Association for Health Education, the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education, and other corporate and university partners. The HEP network provides a menu of high quality courses that students can complete for undergraduate or graduate credits and continuing education credits.
- OAO staff created the Office of Health Informatics at Texas A&M University. OHI offered online undergraduate and graduate courses to over 1500 students each semester.