NSU, pioneer in distance education, embraces digital transformation


NATCHITOCHES – With classes transitioned to online and alternative delivery for the remainder of the semester, Northwestern State University’s faculty, student support services and information technology staff are working diligently to meet challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Northwestern has been a pioneer and a leader in online education since the 1990s,” said NSU President Chris Maggio. “All of our academic programs are continuing with online and other alternate delivery of classes.  Students have access to the library, counseling, technical support and other services required for quality learning.  Offices that provide essential assistance to the university community and the public remain open as most of our personnel teach and work remotely.”

NSU students are currently on spring break with classes set to resume Monday, March 30.

“While this is a time of disruption, it is an opportunity to fully embrace ‘digital transformation’ that will forever change higher education,” said Dr. Darlene Williams, NSU’s vice president for Technology, Innovation and Economic Development.  “With each new decade, we’ve experienced significant disruption as it relates to technology. Online education will no longer be the other way to deliver instruction, but potentially, the new normal. NSU has paved the way for our future, which enables access unlike ever before. We are a part of the change.”

To create a seamless transition, NSU faculty are using online labs such as “myMathLab” and other virtual experiences provided through partners or other online resources, Williams added.   The Louisiana Board of Regents created clearinghouses for information at https://louislibraries.org/online_resources/students and https://regents.la.gov/distance-learning-resources/  Northwestern State’s managing partner for the NSU Marketplace bookstore, Follette Higher Education Group, is offering free eBook, courseware and shipping programs for students.

NSU offers 40 online degree programs plus more than 85 online options for individual concentrations, certificates and specialized credentials.

Early registration for summer and fall semesters is underway and NSU continues to reach out to prospective students. Virtual tours and other helpful videos have been on the university’s social media channels.  Registration information is available at www.nsula.edu/registrar.

“As a longtime supporter of distance learning, I am proud of the work being accomplished by institutions in Louisiana, across our country and around the globe. Let’s not look back, but look forward, and embrace the transformative opportunities that are yet to come,” Williams said.

“The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis and Northwestern is meeting these new challenges through the resourcefulness and resiliency of our faculty, staff and students,” Maggio said.

Updates and information regarding academics and operations at NSU are available at www.nsula.edu.