Distance Education Update 4-2010
The Distance Education Task Group investigated the desirability of a substantial commitment to distance-delivered education at WCU. The impetus for the study was the potential for the institution to extend the reach of the educational opportunities that it offers and to generate new revenue. The primary design criterion was that distance-education courses and programs have the same level of excellence as is found in curricula delivered on campus.
After conducting its study, the Distance Education Task Group has concluded that WCU is well positioned to launch a distance education program. To support this conclusion, the group notes that much of the infrastructure necessary to offer a quality distance education program is already in place:
- WCU faculty have been active in incorporating technology into their teaching using the campus Learning Management System.
- The Division of Information Services has been proactive in providing hardware and software to keep pace with faculty use and interest.
- Online applications have been developed for many business and student-support services.
- Establish an economically viable distance education program.
To coordinate and administer the distance education program, establish an office that reports to the Provost and works closely with an advisory committee.
Implement a revenue distribution model that provides an equitable return to the unit that generates the increased revenue while giving the institution the ability to respond strategically to outside economic influences.
- Initially focus on existing graduate programs and certificates for which demand exists. The implementation phase is envisioned to result in a mix of graduate-degree programs, certificate programs, and individual courses.
- With APSCUF, establish policies and procedures for faculty with distance-education responsibilities.
The processes for hiring a Director of Distance Education and establishing an advisory committee have been initiated; President's Cabinet is considering the revenue model.