All 10 participating schools of Semester Online, which allowed students around the world to take a semester of undergraduate courses online, have pulled out of the consortium, effectively closing the company.
After St. Louis’ Washington University opted out of the arrangement by a 130-116 vote on April 3, the other nine schools followed suit, according to an article written by Michael Tabb of Student Life.com.
Some Washington University professors felt they had been left out of the decision-making process concerning the pros and cons of such an online program; others felt that 2U, the parent company of Semester Online, had a ” frustrating lack of transparency about it”, according to Michael Sherberg, chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literature.
A statement by Semester Online said that the pilot program experienced significant challenges related to the complexities of a consortium structure. However, the experience was informative and helped 2U develop its instructional model for the undergraduate population, which 2U will apply to the forthcoming online undergraduate degree program in nursing with Boston’s Simmons College.
The consortium’s disbandment came just a week after 2U became a publicly traded commodity, going public on March 28 on NASDAQ with an initial public offering (IPO) of 8 million shares. The Landover, Maryland based company was founded in 2008.