DWU announces new leadership for its online learning initiative
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University has offered online courses for several years and has now created a digital learning initiative which will be led by Dr. Derek Driedger.
Driedger, associate professor of English and English department chairman, has been named associate dean of digital learning at DWU and will lead the university through its new online initiative.
“Dr. Driedger has a commanding sense of the evolving nature of higher education,” said Amy Novak, DWU provost and executive vice president. “He immerses himself in the technology and examines strategies for using digital technologies to enhance classroom learning. Derek’s goal-oriented leadership style, scholarly engagement and excellent integration of digital learning into his classes, has prepared him to assume this important role for Dakota Wesleyan.”
Driedger has taught at DWU since 2007 in English, journalism and Core classes, designing and redesigning course curriculums, experiential learning exercises and service-learning projects.
“As DWU steps further into the world of digital learning with online courses and degrees, my role will be to oversee online curriculum, help departments design online-friendly courses and maintain university-wide consistency,” Driedger said.
DWU already offers an online degree completion program for nurses who have earned an associate’s degree in nursing and want to complete a Bachelor of Science in nursing, and a variety of other courses have been offered online as well. This fall, the university will roll out its Master of Business Administration – Strategic Leadership degree offered entirely online. In another year, DWU hopes to add a degree-completion program for adult learners, geared for nontraditional students who have some college education and are interested in completing a bachelor’s degree.
About 35.3 percent of South Dakotans and 36.5 percent of Mitchell residents have begun but not completed a college degree, according to a 2013 Mitchell Area Development Corporation report.
“One of my main roles will be to set up general education courses for this degree-completion program to help them finish those degrees,” Driedger said. “This is an exciting opportunity for Dakota Wesleyan to expand its learning opportunities.”