Distance education

A Historic Union?

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The National Labor College joins forces with a huge for-profit company to build the biggest online university ever.

Labor College's Deal Questioned

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At many faculty gatherings these days, one hears quips and complaints about for-profit higher education. Professors who value what they consider essential and eroding traditions -- a significant tenure-track faculty and the centrality of the liberal arts, for example -- resent the adjunct-heavy, career-education dominant model of higher education that is widely used in for-profit higher ed. As a result, many faculty advocates are skeptical not only about for-profit higher education, but about the growing number of alliances between nonprofit colleges and for-profit colleges.

Brand for Hire

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West Virginia Wesleyan College lets commercial education providers trade on its name, making some faculty uneasy.

Online Enrollment Up 17%

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One in every four students now takes at least one course online. But study finds increases aren't necessarily matched by faculty respect.

Online Cure for the Nursing Crisis

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Distance education might answer America's demand for nursing programs -- and it's not just for-profit colleges that are looking to cash in.

A Great Experiment

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One year in, questions remain about University of the People and its ambitious goal of offering free higher education to students around the world.

Student Clubs, Virtually

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Distance ed students seek to replicate social and professional benefits of traditional college experience by forming Web-based extracurricular organizations.

To the Front of the Line

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Months after purchasing the Penn Foster Education Group, a for-profit career training provider, the Princeton Review is entering the distance education market by teaming up with community colleges to offer fast-track allied health-care programs to students who are willing to pay higher tuition to bypass long waiting lists.

The Human Element

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Douglas E. Hersh’s close crop of auburn hair and neatly trimmed goatee are clearly visible in an expandable window on my desktop. So are his light tweed blazer and matching tie. On a table behind his desk sits a purple orchid, lending color to his office -- 2,600 miles away from mine.

The technology that allows me to see Hersh’s face as he speaks to me is not new. But Hersh, dean of educational programs and technology at Santa Barbara City College, believes it may hold the key to solving an old problem that has plagued distance education since its beginnings: the retention gap.

The Specialists

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Is the “bundled” model of higher education outdated?

Some higher-ed futurists think so. Choosing the academic program at a single university, they say, is a relic of a time before online education made it possible for a student in Oregon to take courses at a university in Florida if she wants.

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