August 21, 2019

Unified web portal for discovering, accessing Purdue online programs launches

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Online launched a unified web portal Wednesday (Aug. 21), giving prospective students the ability to search and find online programs across the entire Purdue system on one website. At launch, the portal at online.purdue.edu features over 210 online programs and an additional 150 degree specializations.

Purdue Online is the online education initiative adopted in December 2018 by the Board of Trustees at the recommendation of President Mitch Daniels.

“A key element of the initiative, the web portal is designed to match students with programs and courses from any of the four accredited institutions in the Purdue system, to find those offerings best suited to their needs – and to point them to possibilities they may not even have considered,” says Gerry McCartney, executive vice president for Purdue Online and the Oesterle Professor of Information Technology.

The goal is to help individuals shop for online programs and get to what they’re interested in faster, in the process expanding the availability of a Purdue education to all types of students, and for corporate retraining, by making it accessible anywhere with affordable options.

“Many prospective students for one reason or another can’t come to campus,” McCartney says. “They may be working a job, have a family, on active deployment with the military. Purdue Online is designed to bring Purdue to them and this new, unified portal can be the centerpiece for doing so.”

The initial release of the portal provides prospective students with multiple ways to find Purdue online programs, including:

• Open search.

• Question prompts.

• Search by degree level.

• Browse by institution or campus.

• Filter options to narrow results.

The initial results include program description, credits required, start dates and institution. A side-by-side comparison allows users to select two to five different programs to compare. If a prospective student is looking to learn more about an individual program, there are links to existing Purdue webpages for more details, including pricing and admissions.

Users also can get information directly through:

• General requests for information, which results in a follow-up from the call center for Purdue Online.

• Program-specific requests for information, which are sent to the Purdue unit offering the program.

• User-initiated live chat and call center representatives who are available for an immediate response.

The website also contains general informational pages about topics such as admissions, tuition, financial aid, international and military students, and more.

Post launch, the Purdue Online team will track how users navigate through the website, measuring performance and engagement with the site’s features to help inform ongoing improvements. That’s part of a partnership with Purdue’s Office of Marketing and Media to optimize not only the portal but all of Purdue’s websites.

Source: Gerry McCartney, mccart@purdue.edu

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