Online education company 2U of Landover has partnered with American University of Washington, D.C., to launch an international relations graduate program.
This marks 2U's eighth graduate program and seventh partner. 2U recently changed its name from 2tor and employs about 500 people, said CEO and co-founder Chip Paucek.
2U, which moved its headquarters from New York in February, secured $26 million in venture capital in the first quarter.
The new program will enable international relations students to participate in weekly class sessions in an online classroom with American University's School of International Service's faculty and fellow students.
“2U has identified international services as a growth opportunity,” Paucek said, emphasizing that few strong online education options exist in the global market.
American University already serves 800 international students, and Paucek said he hopes this online program will expand that.
“If people don't have to leave their jobs or relocate, there's a lot more opportunity for them,” he said.
2U's existing partnership with the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education includes students from 34 counties, Paucek said. Its master's of business administration program with the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School also features students from around the world.
2U also has a support office in Hong Kong, which Paucek said will help when it comes to offering around-the-clock support services to students.
Paucek said he expects the new program will lead to more hires at 2U, as more people will be needed to manage the program as it scales up. 2U has previously anticipated employing 800 workers at its Landover headquarters by the end of 2014.
These online courses feature “very intimate” settings and put students through the same rigorous requirements as campus programs, earning them either credits or a “true” degree, he said.
Online courses through American University will began in May. The program is currently accepting applications.