ERIC Number: ED389906
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jan
A Fundamental Problem with Distance Programs in Higher Education.
According to a 1994 survey of higher education administrators and state politicians, the following are perceived as the biggest problems facing American higher education in the next millennium: meeting increased demands at a time of decreased resources; increasing or maintaining access; using technology more efficiently; and sharing resources across state lines so that colleges and universities will not need to be all things to all people. Successful distance programs can increase access to education, provide valuable service to adult learners, and make excellent use of technology. Unforunately, few institutions initiate distance education programs to reap those benefits. Academic departments have no strong mandate and few incentives to adjust their curriculum and instruction to fit distance education beyond cursory cooperation. Some institutions are failing to tailor their distance education programs to the needs of adult learners, and others are initiating such programs primarily to solve their budget problems. Education leaders who, however covertly, consider distance education programs the poor stepchild of higher education send tacit messages that off-campus programs and students are inferior. Those messages in turn militate against curricular and instructional adaptations for distance education and limit the amount of support for the human infrastructure needed to make distance programs work. (MN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A