Baylor University's Innovative Approach to Online Professional Education

February 9, 2023
Baylor innovates in online professional education

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced higher ed to innovate and bring classes online, many Colleges and Universities sat at the forefront of supplying quality online options in support of lifelong learners, career changers, or those who wanted to advance their careers.   

Baylor has been pioneering in the professional education space for five years, bringing Master’s and PhD programs online to support learners while allowing them to continue to work and raise a family while prioritizing their career journey. Baylor, recently recognized as an R1 Research Institution, brings its world-renowned faculty and the Baylor community to students across Texas and the country. Below are four ways Baylor continues to innovate and be a leader in online professional education.  

 Filling a Niche: There are many programs offering every trending degree. Baylor is a bit more selective. Knowing our strengths and the niches that need to be filled, Baylor can bring innovative programs forward to serve marketplace demands. Distinctive programs like our hybrid Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs allow students to study from anywhere in the country, yet come together for interactive lab immersions, which provides the unique opportunity to engage and network with students in their program. The University’s Master’s in Public Relations and Advertising looks at the changing role of Journalism and supplies the skills they need to be leaders, storytellers, and crisis managers in the 21st century.  

Student-Centered Innovation: Baylor’s professional education portfolio of offerings is developed with the goal of bringing nationally ranked graduate and professional education programs to market. With a student-centered approach, programs must address two questions before moving forward: does this offering support students' long-term career goals, and does it support them in meeting their goals? The newly approved Master of Science in Medical Science (MSMS), from the University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, in collaboration with Baylor Graduate Professional Education is a one-year online program designed to enhance the credentials of students for professional school admissions or as an enrichment year for aspiring medical-based professionals. This program allows them to continue their aspirations while providing the support they need to continue their career journey.   

Community of Caring: Baylor has a unique and distinctive reputation for being a caring, Christian university with a family-oriented community. This is not just a brand attribute or words from a catchy tagline. It is a pillar of Baylor University’s mission, which is to educate people for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community. Baylor faculty does more than lecture. Instead, qualities such as kindness and support are infused into their class engagement.   

Foundation of Research: Through the dedicated work of Baylor faculty and staff and the University’s academic and research leadership, Baylor has been recognized as an R1 Research Institution (less than 5% of universities within the US). The R1 status highlights Baylor’s commitment to demonstrating that top-tier research and Christian faith do and can effectively go together. This unique mission is evident in Graduate Professional Education, as the university provides impactful services to students that support them academically, spiritually, personally and in their career journeys.  

Online graduate programs will continue to evolve over time with offerings becoming more robust, competition increasing, cost fluctuating and student and economic demand dictating future needs. While Baylor focuses on innovating to meet those needs, the University is also dedicated to elevating the intangibles that not only add to the value of the degree but the student experience.