Photo of Karen Gebhardt

Director of the Online Economics Program


Dr. Karen Gebhardt is the Director of the Online Economics Program with the Department of Economics and Division of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Karen is deeply committed to undergraduate student success through supporting excellence in online learning to improve student learning outcomes and enhance retention and graduation.

She serves many audiences, from undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, the University, the System, to the national and international stakeholders. She has presented scholarship internally at the Department, University, and System levels and externally in national and international forums to promote excellence in distance education, integration of technology in teaching, and the importance of community and belonging in online spaces.

As an award-winning teacher, Karen has instructed courses in all modalities including introductory courses in micro- and macroeconomics, upper division courses in microeconomics, public economics, and managerial economics, and graduate courses in environmental economics and public finance and has taught internationally in Europe and Asia.

Her current research focuses on using data to improve student learning outcomes with an emphasis on improving grades and completion rates, developing community, and using innovative courseware in online courses. Karen is the coauthor of The Micro Economy Today, The Macro Economy Today, and Essentials of Economics, popular principles-level texts.

Prior to joining CU in 2018, Karen worked for Colorado State University in the Economics Department leading the online program, teaching core and elective courses, and improving student learning outcomes and at the United States Department of Agriculture conducting research related to the interactions of humans and wildlife. She earned her Master and PhD degrees in Economics from Colorado State University.

Some of Karen's Roles at CU: