Magazine article Black Enterprise

From a Distance: Getting a Degree in Your Time and Space. (Higher Learning)

Magazine article Black Enterprise

From a Distance: Getting a Degree in Your Time and Space. (Higher Learning)

Article excerpt

Stephanie W. Ingraham, assistant manager, Regional Operations at Equity Office Properties, a commercial real estate firm in Atlanta, wanted to finish her bachelor's degree in business, but her full-time job did not allow her the flexibility. "The distance learning program [at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida] allowed me to take classes around my work schedule. Plus, I don't like classrooms."

Distance learning programs are becoming increasingly popular, particularly online learning on the college level. According to the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), a nonprofit education organization in Needham, Massachusetts, corporate America is using distance learning, both internally and externally, for all aspects of training. In fact, the International Data Corporation, an IT research firm in Framingham, Massachusetts, had predicted that 2.2 million college students would be enrolled in online courses by 2002, up from 710,000 in 1998. This year roughly 84% of four-year colleges offer distance-learning programs up from 62% in 1998.

Because of such growth, Congress authorized the Distance Education Demonstration Program in 1998 as an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965. The Program is overseen by the Department of Education and is charged with monitoring the quality, viability, and effectiveness of expanded distance education programs. For a list of participating members and schools, log on to www.ed .gov/offices/OPE/PPI/DistEd. …

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