Arkansas State University's fightin' Red Wolves howl for distance learning. The Herald (the Arkansas State student newspaper) reports that
renovations are underway at the former Jazzman's Hardwired Cafe near Parking Services off Johnson Avenue. The renovations will provide office space for 13 ASU employees who are providing academic support services for distance-learning programs offered by ASU through private, for-profit Academic Partnerships.
Arkansas State now also offers incentives for its faculty members to develop online courses. "ASU faculty members who develop ASU courses for distance learning who have a full teaching load receive overload compensation in the amount of $4,500 to develop a course for online delivery by ASU that receives non-academic support by AP," the Herald article continues.
Arkansas State represents simply one of the many public universities seeking to integrate distance learning into their traditional curricula. And with full-time study becoming increasingly uncommon, students are embracing these distance learning opportunities in ever greater numbers.
Across the Atlantic full-time study has already sailed out of reach of many higher-ed aspirants. The United Kingdom's The Independent reports that
most postgraduates in the UK fit study around busy lives. For now, lectures are still attended in person, but this won't always be so, according to visions of how universities will function in future. Even more sophisticated technology might allow some institutions to do away with lecture halls without sacrificing social and academic interaction. Once the need to physically attend is removed, postgraduate study will become even more flexible and tailored, say educationalists.
That American universities are already responding to these dramatic changes in the educational landscape ensures that future postsecondary students will have ample opportunity to pursue their educational goals --- even if it means squeezing studies in between shifts at the coffee house or department store.