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Distance Education a Key investment to Unity College’s Path Forward.

September 29, 2020

Dear Unity College Colleagues,

Congratulations on another undergraduate term in the history books!  I know there are still two weeks left in the graduate term, but it is exciting to be wrapping up yet another Fall 1.  When we started this journey five years ago, I knew we would get to where we are today – others were not so sure, but faith, perseverance and sometimes just pure will prevailed. 

For a long time I watched DE grow in the shadow of our residential campus and the traditional model for higher education.  Because it serves an audience that needs flexibility, affordability and accessibility, it did not garner the respect that a campus experience gets through default, but adult place bound learners deserve to get an environmental education as much as anyone else, so you made it happen.  That push against the traditional has led you to a position of growth beyond expectation and a curve that seems to have nowhere else to go but up. 

It has been a bright spot in the dimness of a 2020 world, and it is a great position to be in.  I hope this team is proud of the work you have done to get to this point.  It hasn’t been easy I know, and there are times when it seems like the support you need is mired in process, but just like the growth of DE, those processes will evolve.  As our cadence changes to meet the pace of Distance Education there will be errors, and sometimes mistakes.  We will learn from them, and we will take precautions to make sure they don’t happen again, remembering that Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are, after all, still humans and changing the speed of how we work is hard (though not impossible).

When we began investing in DE five years ago, we were also investing in Unity College.  The technology, the relationships, the marketing – it was all designed to build an online program second to none and diversify the College so we would be able sustain ourselves in the future.  It worked! When COVID-19 took the world by storm and we had to pivot and pivot again, our investments in your SEBU allowed us to steady the ship while we moved to remote learning for our residential program in the Spring and again as we launched Hybrid Learning. 

The lessons we are learning from Distance Education are extremely valuable tools in our Unity College tool box.  Some of them we use daily like the technology and teamwork, while others are just hanging out waiting for the right time to be used.  I am so proud of this team, how you work and what you have accomplished.  The professionalism, passion and compassion you bring to Distance Education are an inspiration to all of us here at Unity College.  Thank You. 

In Unity,

Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
President, Unity College