Tech Briefa

Study Shows Most Adult Education Programs Offer Distance Learning

NEW YORK — Nearly 69 percent of adult and continuing education programs offer distance learning courses, a new study shows.
The Survey of Adult and Continuing Education Progams in Higher Education also found that the most common credentials offered through distance learning courses are non-degree certificates.
Other findings show that:
n 39 percent of the adult and continuing education programs offer undergraduate degrees;
n 26 percent offer graduate degrees;
n 80 percent offer non-degree certificate programs;
n 52 percent of the programs participate in educational consortia, which enable students to take courses offered by other colleges and universities under the auspices of the programs;
n a mean of 24 percent of adult and continuing education program revenues is derived from arrangements with industry to provide specialized worker education or training;
n only 5 percent of the adult and continuing education courses are taught by full-time faculty members that teach primarily or exclusively in the adult and continuing education programs;
n most distance learning courses are taught by adjunct faculty members (39.7 percent) or by full-time faculty members that teach primarily in other divisions or programs (37 percent);
n distance learning programs directly employ a mean of 23 faculty members;
n 83 percent of the programs use the Internet to offer courses at a distance;
n 60 percent of programs use videoconferencing;
n 36 percent of programs use videotapes; and
n 50 percent of the programs grant credits for life experience or corporate training programs.
The study, which is based on a survey of 70 randomly selected adult and continuing education programs throughout the U.S., was conducted by the Primary Research Group. For more details visit <www.primaryresearch.com>.
White House Answering Questions from Internet Users

WASHINGTON — The White House has a new service for Internet users who have questions about administration activities.
Through “Ask the White House” on America Online, computer users can ask the White House press office about current events and government policy. America Online proposed the feature.
The initiative launched earlier this month is “part of the president’s continued  commitment to the progress and the growth of the Internet,”‘ White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said in a statement.
Already, several other sites — representing interests as varied as the Japanese Embassy and the Nigerian press corps — have started making plans to provide the service to their users, officials said.
As the service expands, other participating Web sites will funnel computer users’ questions to the White House press office, submitting the five most frequently asked queries and posting the responses weekly.


Online College Bookseller               Preps for Spring

LEXINGTON, KY — Virtual campus bookstore ecampus.com is adding 2.9 course listings to its roster this month in preparation for the spring term.
The company already offers more than 3 million items in its cyber bookstore, including textbooks, bestsellers, trade books, course content, academic supplies, and campus-labeled gifts and apparel. Also included among the site’s services is a book buyback program.
“We are adding course listings for over 4,500 colleges and will update them on a regular basis.” says President and CEO Steve Stevens.


Duke Web Site Offers Access to    Historic Advertisements

DURHAM — Some 7,000 advertisements offering snapshots of American culture from 1911 to 1955 are available online through a Web site launched by Duke University librarians.
The Ad*Access site is the largest online collection of advertising history, school officials said.
The ads are mainly from U.S. newspapers and magazines and come from the J. Walter Thompson Co. Competitive Advertisements Collection at Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library. The Thompson archives were donated to the university in 1987.
Officials worked for more than two years to digitize the ads, many of which were deteriorating with age, and put them online.
Ad*Access is divided into five categories: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II.
The Web site was launched in early November and already has received more than 1 million hits, school officials said.
The Web site can be found at http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/.


College Will Be Sheltered from      Possible Y2K Storm

MILWAUKEE — A technical college has prepared for the worst the new millennium has to offer by putting together a Y2K disaster shelter.
Lakeshore Technical College’s Cleveland campus is ready to provide 500 people with food, water and shelter for up to two weeks.
“It’s thinking ahead and looking down the line. If something happens, we don’t want to be hit,” college spokeswoman Tammie Stahl said.
If there is a Y2K cataclysm, the shelter would be open to the first 500 residents of Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties to arrive.
The college bought 2,400 gallons of bottled water and 9 tons of food for its Y2K disaster shelter. Twenty-four portable toilets will be delivered late this month and placed strategically around the campus. Lanterns and extra batteries have been procured in case the lights go out. The college also bought an emergency diesel engine and rented an extra fuel tank.
The tax-supported college spent $1,500 for bottled water and $15,000 for food, said Dennis Thiel, physical plant director at the college. If the shelter is not needed or if food is left over, the surplus will be donated to local food pantries.
State Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, describes the college’s actions as “nutty behavior that isn’t fitting of a public institution.”
“This is a strange overreaction that just heightens the existing hyperactivity over this issue,” said Jauch, the co-chairman of a legislative committee reviewing year 2000 preparedness. “I frankly think we have to question the quality of their instruction, if this is the depth of their thinking.”
State Director of Emergency Management Ed Gleason said even if something does go wrong, people would be unlikely to head to the college.
“Typically, I think if something were to happen on New Year’s Eve, they probably wouldn’t run to a shelter,” Gleason said. “They would probably wait to see if the lights go back on.”   



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