May 9, 2023: USDLA News features May episode of the Distance Learning Roundtable, 2 free webinars, and USDLA’s Award Winners

Hello USDLA friends! This week we are shining a light on a webinar presented today at 1 pm by USDLA president-elect Chuck Sengstock: The Future of Alternative and Non-Degree Credentials in Education.

Chuck says: Join us for a discussion with industry leaders about the growing opportunity in alternative and non-degree credentials. Institutions are looking for ways to diversify revenue as four-year degree enrollment continues to decline and the enrollment cliff of 2025+ looms. Meanwhile, alternative and non-degree education (also called micro-credentials) is a new category of education that offers smaller learning units with the potential to achieve a faster return on investment. After the pandemic, this kind of learning is gaining interest with employers and students, offering our industry a new path for growth. You’ll hear from peers about the trends they are seeing and ways their institutions are tapping into this trend.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Peer examples of ways institutions are providing alternative education
  • Shifts in student preference and employers waiving degree requirement
  • The role alternative education have in growing revenue for the institution.Ensuring this will be a sustainable form of education in the years ahead
  • Resources for institutions looking to get started in alternative education

Click here to learn more.


We are thrilled to announce our International Distance Learning Award Winners! Scroll down for details, and click here to read our official press release!

Also: Below, you’ll meet our May 2023 guest on the May episode of the Distance Learning Roundtable — Amrit Ahluwalia, editor-in-chief of The EvoLLLution. Click here to listen to his discussion of Enrollment Trends to Grow in a Challenging Environment: Episode 8. Amrit will also be one of the presenters at the July conference. Register today!

And make sure to attend this week’s USDLA Free Friday Webinar: Partnering to Care for the Well-Being Needs of your Campus Community, presented by Emily Pettit, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, The Virtual Care Group. Scroll down for details, and click here to register.

We’ll talk again on Thursday in our USDLA Brief! — The USDLA team

United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Announces 2023 International Distance Learning Award Winners

Each year USDLA recognizes innovators and leaders within the distance/digital learning industry as part of our International Award program.

These highly coveted awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals who compete across several categories of excellence.

The USDLA International Distance Learning Awards are created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary achievements through online learning techniques, innovation, and video delivery technologies globally.

All awards are presented at our annual national conference. For more than three decades, this event has been an opportunity to mingle, discuss technology and learn from an audience broader than our own. Attendees and award winners look forward to the live in-person interactions, and historical conference feedback has always focused on those personal relationships made with one another. For our 36th anniversary will be focusing on tracks that are in high demand as we continue to navigate both remote and in-person learning strategies.

President of USDLA, Eric Jones, says: “The International Award program continues to provide prestigious recognition for educational influencers worldwide. These award winners are truly leaders in the distance/digital learning industry, and their work supporting pedagogy is unsurpassed.”

Each year the annual award winners are recognized by the Association at the USDLA National Conference Awards Dinner and presented with a beautiful award. Click here to see who won!

This month on the Distance Learning Roundtable — Learn from Amrit Ahluwalia, editor-in-chief at The EvoLLLution: A Modern Campus Illumination

USDLA Keynote Speaker at USDLA National Conference: Thursday, July 20, at noon

Plus: Meet Amrit at Cookies with Keynotes on Wednesday, July 19, at 4:30

Click here to meet Amrit on episode 8 of the Distance Learning Roundtable.

Topic: Bucking Enrollment Trends to Grow in a Challenging Environment

You’ll learn: The higher education space has experienced significant challenges since the pandemic, and we’re still adapting. Maintaining viability over the next decade means seeing learners through a new lens. It also means foundationally changing the way standard processes at every phase of the learner lifecycle need to evolve. From enrollment management and retention to learner engagement and communication to alumni engagement—a future-ready postsecondary institution needs to realign around student centricity and lifelong learning. In this podcast, Amrit will share ideas, strategies, and best practices colleges and universities across North America have implemented to ready themselves for an uncertain future.

About Amrit: Amrit is the Editor in Chief of The EvoLLLution, an online newspaper focused on non-traditional higher education and the transforming postsecondary marketplace. He serves as Director of Strategic Insights for Modern Campus. He was part of the team that conceived of and launched The EvoLLLution in 2011 and served as its Managing Editor from 2011-2021. Amrit works personally with every contributor at The EvoLLLution to produce content that has supported the site’s rise to becoming the top resource for non-traditional higher education. He earned his BA (Honors) in Political Studies from Queen’s University and his MA in International Politics from McMaster University. Learn more at

USDLA FREE FRIDAY WEBINAR: May 12, 2023 • 1-2 pm ET

Topic: Partnering to Care for the Well-Being Needs of Your Campus Community

Presenter: Emily Pettit, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, The Virtual Care Group

Session: Almost 50% of 2022 entering college students report being “Mentally Exhausted” (BCSSE, 2022) as they begin college. With the increase in student need running head first into the employee Great Resignation/Quiet Quitting, sustainable solutions are complicated. This session will highlight the national data on campus wellness, review a telehealth partnership case study and share some resources for caring for your campus community.

About Emily: I have served on the Student Services frontline for 25 years at 2-the and 4-year institutions, most recently as the Associate Vice President for Student Success and Title IX Coordinator at a university in Georgia. Using my degrees in Psychology and Counseling, I have enjoyed developing and implementing initiatives supporting student success – carefully attending to wellness and retention concerns. As the new Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Virtual Care Group, I shift my care and concern for students from the micro level (on campus) to the macro level (supporting colleges nationally) to focus on the well-being of ALL college students. Click here to register!