Via the January 20, 2011 edition of The Vancouver Sun comes a BusinessWire press release announcing that "[t]he Stanford Center for Professional Development and the International Air Transport Association today signed an agreement to develop and deliver a distance learning aviation management program."
Stanford initiated this innovative distance-learning program because, as the release goes on to state, "the need for highly trained aviation professionals is on the rise and expected to continue its trajectory."
The January 14, 2011 edition of The International Business Times also brings news of Stanford's program, which it considers a vital new development:
The talent gap in the industry could be particularly severe in view of the expected wave of retirements within the U.S. aerospace and defense industry that has been looming for years, according to a 2010 Workforce Study by Aviation Week magazine.
Stanford's program is fairly demanding. Participants will be required to complete six courses within a year. These courses include such diverse topics as strategic execution, leadership, and project management. All courses will be facilitated by state of the art distance learning technology, including eLearning modules and self-study content in downloadable formats. Students will be able to access these materials at all times, which will enable them "to study at their own time and pace and even repeat lectures during the year as needed," the International Business Times article reports.
It looks likes distance-learning educational modalities are being used in a number of up-and-coming programs. And the fact that a university of Stanford's stature is implementing some these modalities only stands to grant them some sorely needed academic and professional legitimacy. Time will only tell what other industries decide to take advantage of e-learning's many benefits. It's a safe bet, however, that with Stanford in the lead other venerable institutions of higher learning are sure to follow suit.