WPI Offering Free Online Courses to College Students Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/September 19, 2005
Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5609

WORCESTER, Mass. -- September 19, 2005 -- Worcester Polytechnic Institute is participating in the Sloan Semester, a collaboration of U.S. colleges and universities offering online courses to serve the learning needs of students at the community college, university, and graduate level. The courses will be made available tuition-free to students displaced from Gulf Coast schools by Hurricane Katrina. The program was developed by the Sloan Consortium, an international alliance of colleges and universities dedicated to quality online education, in cooperation with the Southern Regional Education Board.

WPI's Department of Management will offer two three-credit undergraduate courses, Principles of Marketing and Management of Information Systems, which will be delivered through WPI's Advanced Distance Learning Network (ADLN). The classes, which can accommodate up to 24 students each, will begin on Oct. 11, 2005, and run until Jan. 3, 2006.

Principles of Marketing (MKT 3699) provides the background by which managers may understand consumer and industrial decision making. Topics covered include segmentation and target marketing, market research, competitor analysis and marketing information systems. Additional discussion focuses on the development of a marketing plan and positioning of the product. Attention is also paid to product management, new product development, promotion, price, and distribution. Both national and global aspects of these issues are discussed.

Management Information Systems (MIS 3799) focuses on information technology and management. Topics covered are information technology and organizations, information technology and individuals (privacy, ethics, job security, job changes), information technology and information security, information technology within the organization (technology introduction and implementation), business process engineering, and information technology between organizations (electronic data interchange and electronic commerce).

"WPI has more than two decades of experience offering high-quality courses and degree programs at a distance," notes Pennie Turgeon, director of ADLN and WPI's Academic Technology Center. "We have built a state-of-the-art infrastructure for assisting faculty in course development, delivering courses over the Internet, and meeting the unique needs of distance students. We are excited about the opportunity to use this expertise to assist students displaced by Katrina and make it easier for them to return to their home institutions once they reopen."

WPI began offering business courses through distance learning in 1979 -- becoming the nation's second-oldest MBA program available entirely at a distance. The bachelor's and master's degree programs in business at WPI focus on the management of technology, and feature an interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizing leadership, ethics, communications and a global perspective. They are accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

To learn more about the Sloan Semester project and how to register for these WPI courses, visit www.sloansemester.org.