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Jul 08, 2020

Amherst College Partners with 2U, Inc. to Prepare for Fall 2020

Amherst College will use 2UOS Essential to build high-quality, online versions of its largest enrollment courses

AMHERST, Mass. and LANHAM, Md., July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Amherst College is preparing for the fall semester by bringing some of its highest enrollment courses online in partnership with 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology. Amherst faculty will reimagine their larger, lecture-style courses in a high-quality, online format with the support of 2UOS Essential, 2U's bundled solution to help colleges and universities build, deliver, and support a hybrid learning experience this fall. 

"Students have come to Amherst College for 200 years in order to experience a rich liberal arts education rooted in the intellectual and social relationships that students build with their peers and Amherst faculty," Provost and Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein said. "While in-person interaction will always be core to who we are, we believe that we can bring the Amherst experience to life online for certain courses this fall with the support of 2U."

In a recent announcement, Amherst laid out a plan for students, faculty, and the wider college community to safely return to campus in August. As part of that plan, courses with more than 35 students will be held online while large lecture halls will be used for medium-sized classes, and medium-sized classrooms will be used for small class sizes. 

"2U is leveraging over a decade of experience to help Amherst bring the best of its liberal arts teaching online for the upcoming school year," 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher "Chip" Paucek said. "COVID-19 has accelerated the trend toward blended education that combines the rigor of traditional campus-based education with the flexibility of a proven technology platform and world-class student and faculty support."

2UOS Essential will give Amherst the critical services to seamlessly bring the selected classes online while ensuring effective pedagogy and ongoing tech support. This includes:

  • Faculty Training: Faculty will receive guidance from 2U's experts in online course design to apply online teaching best practices as they build their online courses. This includes instructional design workshops and reviews as well as step-by-step guides and tutorials.
  • Video Production via Studio in a Box: Faculty will create engaging recorded video content at home and on their own schedule with 2U's support and expertise. This includes all the production equipment needed to create high-quality asynchronous videos and detailed tutorials.
  • Online Campus: 2U's LMS utilizes a scalable, highly reliable, secure cloud infrastructure. The mobile-friendly platform enables synchronous learning and collaboration through LTI-based Zoom integration.
  • Student and Faculty Support: Once courses are up and running, students and faculty will have access to real-time support to assist with platform log-in, enrollments issues, or any other technical problems that may arise.

"The most important work to create high-quality online education happens well before the first day of classes," 2U Senior Vice President of University Relations Nathan Greeno said. "We've already started a collaborative process with Amherst's faculty and administrators putting the building blocks in place to ensure a robust online education experience for both faculty and students this fall." 

About Amherst College
Amherst College prepares students to use ideas to make a difference in the world. Since its founding, in 1821, in Western Massachusetts, Amherst has demonstrated steadfast confidence in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of critical thinking. Today, its financial aid program is among the most substantial in the nation, and its student body is among the most diverse. Small classes, an open curriculum and a singular focus on undergraduate education ensure that leading scholars engage daily with talented, curious students, equipping them for leadership in an increasingly global and complex world. The College will celebrate its bicentennial in 2021.

About 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU) 
Eliminating the back row in higher education is not just a metaphor—it's our mission. For more than a decade, 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology, has been a trusted partner and brand steward of great universities. We build, deliver, and support more than 400 digital and in-person educational offerings, including graduate degrees, professional certificates, Trilogy-powered boot camps, and GetSmarter short courses. Together with our partners, 2U has positively transformed the lives of more than 225,000 students and lifelong learners. To learn more, visit #NoBackRow 

Media Contacts:

Amherst College:
Caroline Hanna

2U, Inc.:
Charlotte Ward

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