The online Master of Science in Computer Science and MBA in Global Business Administration will be given equal weight as their on-campus counterparts.
Lebanese American University (LAU) has long been founded on the principles of innovation, expansion, and increased access to high-quality university education. Now, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the transition to digital pedagogical delivery, the university has recently launched two online graduate degree programs which will match the academic strengths of their campus equivalents.
The initiative to deliver online is a significant step toward positioning the university in an increasingly competitive, globalized, and digitized higher education sector. It is part of a larger strategic plan to expand LAU's footprint beyond Lebanon and the region, as well as export its programs and expertise.
To reap the benefits of a university education, students wishing to apply for these two new programs will no longer need to visit campus to enrol, study, or live the life of a full-time student.
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According to Assistant Provost Barbar Akle, the University launched these programs based on its New York charter and accreditation by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). "Based on a report on our preparations for online education, the university received approval from NECHE to begin 'distance education,' while we were able to register both degrees as 100 per cent online at the New York State Education Department (NYSED)," he explained.
LAU has been in a strong position to keep up with technological advancements in recent years due to its international faculty, institutional accreditation, and NYSED registration. The university established the centre for innovative learning long before it needed to migrate courses online during Covid-19, with the goal of promoting excellence in teaching, learning, and assessment through technologies and high-impact pedagogies.
Furthermore, the new online degrees are being launched in collaboration with Wiley, a globally recognized higher education publisher and consultancy.
"The centre has played a major role in preparing the ground for the start of online education and is currently collaborating closely with Wiley Education Services to support our faculty in developing strong online courses that deliver knowledge equivalent to that of campus courses to an international learner base," Dr. Akle said.
According to Faisal Abu-Khzam, professor and online degree coordinator, the online MS in Computer Science is project-based (rather than thesis-based), with a greater emphasis on course work than research, and does not include purely theoretical classes. “Its distinguishing feature is that it is tailored to students with varying computer science backgrounds. Students are expected to have very little technical background, but the learning outcomes are comparable to those of our most advanced courses," he added.
Associate Professor and coordinator Abdul-Nasser Kassar stated: "The MBA in Global Business Administration, in addition to its flexibility and customizable elective courses, provides students with a better understanding of Eastern and Western business culture. They will not only be taught by research-driven faculty with global experience, but they will also have the opportunity to interact with students and professionals from other countries and join our global network of alumni spread across the GCC, Europe, and the Americas - an experience that has benefited our LAU graduates."
Both online programs meet the same standards, curricula, and end-of-course qualifications as those offered on campus. The degrees awarded upon completion will be identical to campus degrees, with no mention of the fact that they were earned online, and graduates will be permitted to march at commencement.
Find out more today: www.online.lau.edu.lb
Graduates of the online Global MBA and online MS Computer Science will be able to successfully position themselves at the forefront of business and technology innovation and offer specialist knowledge that employers in the region are specifically looking for in an increasingly connected, rapidly changing, and unpredictable global economy.
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