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Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University expands online offerings with 2 postgraduate programs and 5 graduate diplomas

By Chris Williams

WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA (Dec. 04, 2017) — Wilfrid Laurier University is expanding its online program management partnership with Keypath Education to include new fully online postgraduate degree programs in Public Safety and Social Work. Graduate diplomas in Public Safety will also be introduced. The partnership with Keypath was first announced in June 2016 and included first-of-their-kind online policing programs.

Laurier has more than 17,000 undergraduate and over 1,000 graduate students, and is ranked sixth in Maclean’s comprehensive university category, and first in student satisfaction for the second year in a row.

Laurier’s new fully online Master of Public Safety (MPS) degree and graduate diploma programs commence in January 2018 and are designed for those who aspire to positions of leadership in any area of public safety. The MPS is the only program aligned with the four strategic pillars of Public Safety Canada. Students who earn their Public Safety graduate diploma may continue their studies and transfer course credit into the Master of Public Safety degree. 

The online Master of Social Work (MSW) program commences in 2018. The MSW is one of Laurier’s signature programs, and has a longstanding reputation for specializing in critically reflexive clinical and community practice. It will be the only program in the country to offer both an advanced standing (for those with a Bachelor of Social Work) and a traditional MSW degree (for those without a BSW) in a fully online format. 

As Laurier’s online program management partner, Keypath is helping the university diversify its enrolment to provinces outside Ontario through online degree programs. 

“Our analysis showed that in the Canadian market, where fully online degrees are new, there was a significant opportunity to become a leader in that space if we were able to extend our reach across the country quickly, efficiently and professionally,” said Bruce Arai, Laurier’s assistant provost for strategy and dean of the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences. “It became clear that we didn’t have the internal capacity to do this properly, so we needed a partner to reach this goal. Through our RFP process, Keypath was well ahead of the other respondents on every measure.”

Keypath provides research and strategic support, program-focused marketing, including localized B2B services, student recruitment, and student support services in the partnership. The undergraduate policing programs supported in the initial partnership have exceeded projections by more than 70 per cent.

“There are three things driving the partnership’s success,” said Keypath CEO Steve Fireng. “The first is the university has a clear strategic academic plan with faculty support, in which online education plays a pivotal role. Second, Canada has high demand for online education that is underserved in comparison to the United States and the United Kingdom. Third, Laurier has been selective in the online degree programs they’ve chosen to launch, giving the university the resources to invest in other programs. The strength of the undergraduate policing programs has allowed for the launch of graduate-level public safety and social work programs.”

Paul Jessop, Laurier’s vice-president: academic, said, “The results we’ve seen from our partnership with Keypath are a testament to the university’s ability to work together and innovate in the face of rapid change in higher education. Online education gives adult professionals the flexibility to further their education while giving the university a foundation for enrolment growth and a more diverse population of students long into the future.”

For more information about Laurier and these programs, please visit online.wlu.ca.

For more information about the Laurier-Keypath partnership and online program management services, please contact Chris Williams, director of marketing, at chris.williams@keypathedu.com or 847.616.8167.

About Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading Canadian university known for academic excellence and a culture that inspires lives of leadership and purpose. Laurier has a distinct commitment to teaching, research and scholarship, combined with a strong student focus, high levels of student satisfaction and a deep sense of community. Laurier’s innovative educational model purposefully integrates the academic learning experience with an experiential learning component. The university has more than 19,000 students throughout its campuses in Waterloo and Brantford and locations in Kitchener and Toronto. The university celebrated its centennial in 2011. www.wlu.ca

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