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05 / 2019 article

University of the Rockies Recognized for Commitment to Course Quality

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University of the Rockies, an academic institution owned by Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI), today announced that Quality Matters™, a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer-review process that certifies the quality of online courses, has recognized University of the Rockies for its long-term, systematic approach to course quality assurance. The Quality Matters Academic Advisory Council (QMAAC) has approved the University of the Rockies Implementation Plan, which includes training faculty in Quality Matters standards and submitting courses for peer review by trained faculty from several institutions. 

“University of the Rockies is committed to implementing the Quality Matters standards for the design of our courses,” said Tina Parscal, University of the Rockies provost. “This distinction sets us apart from many in the education community and validates the mission of University of the Rockies and its successful approach to provide high-quality, accessible learning opportunities globally.”  

Quality Matters has developed a widely respected set of standards for the design of effective online courses and a rigorous faculty peer review process for applying these standards to existing courses. Through this process, reviewers provide instructors and instructional design teams with insights and recommendations that increase student engagement, retention, satisfaction and achievement. 

For a course to be recognized by Quality Matters, it must meet a set of 40 specific elements, distributed across eight broad standards: course overview and introduction, learning objectives, assessment and measurement, resources and materials, learner engagement, course technology, learner support, and accessibility. 

In addition, a team of three independent peer reviewers is trained to use the Quality Matters Rubric to review the quality of each online course. To receive the recognition, a course must demonstrate all essential review elements and receive a combined total score of 72 out of 85 possible points or a minimum score of 85 percent. 

The Quality Matters team is working closely with University of the Rockies and many other institutions, public and private, traditional and non-traditional, to continually improve the effectiveness of online instruction through this standards-based, faculty-driven process. 

“University of the Rockies has a comprehensive curriculum in the social and behavioral sciences. The Quality Matters standards assure that its courses are being designed to promote student engagement and provide students with all the tools and information they need to be successful learners,” said Ron Legon, executive director of Quality Matters. 

About Bridgepoint Education
Bridgepoint Education’s postsecondary education services focus on offering associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in such disciplines as business, education, psychology, social sciences and health sciences. Bridgepoint Education’s regionally accredited academic institutions – Ashford University and University of the Rockies – deliver their programs online as well as at traditional campuses located in Clinton, Iowa, and Colorado Springs, Colorado. For more information about Bridgepoint Education, visit www.bridgepointeducation.com or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.668.2580. 

About University of the Rockies

University of the Rockies is a graduate school specializing in master's and doctorate degree programs in the social and behavioral sciences. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org), classes are offered online and at the University's Colorado Springs, Colorado, campus. For more information, please visit www.rockies.edu or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 866.621.0124 x2513.