ERIC Number: ED483288
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Wyoming Community Colleges: Responding to the Growing Need for Distance Education
Wyoming Community College Commission
Over 1.6 million students (or 11% of all U.S. higher education students) took at least one online course during Fall 2002. Over one-third of these students (578,000) took all of their courses online. The number of students taking at least one online course is projected to increase by 20% to 1.9 million students by Fall 2003.1 The number of distance education courses offered by Wyoming?s seven colleges has grown dramatically over the last 8 years, from a handful in 1994-95 to 284 in 2002-03. The barriers of geography and time are no longer as daunting for students in Wyoming thanks to the rapid evolution of support technologies that allow for efficient and quality delivery of instruction. On August 11, 2003 the Executive Council met in the morning. That afternoon a special meeting was held. During that session, college presidents, academic deans, distance education representatives and some of the staff from the Wyoming Community College Commission gathered to discuss possibilities regarding the current status and future possibilities of distance education. From that brainstorming session a task force was formed to further explore the key concepts voiced during the discussion and to provide recommendations. Over the course of three intense meetings, the task force continued to base their discussions on three key concepts: (1) the need to ensure high quality in both the training to develop and teach distance education courses and the quality of the courses; (2) the commitment to supporting the continued growth of distance education without creating a bureaucratic structure at either the college or state level; and (3) the focus on working together as partners while recognizing the priorities and independence of each college. Appendixes include deliverables, deliverable calendar, consortium information, and a distance education fact sheet.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Authoring Institution: Wyoming Community Coll. Commission, Cheyenne.