Study on Virtual Education Released
Recognizing a lack of research on virtual education, the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) and the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET) jointly undertook in 2002 a national study to examine the goals, functions, challenges and outcomes of Virtual Colleges/Universities (VCU) across the United States. The SHEEO-WCET study summarizes six major findings regarding the progress of VCUs, discusses the implications for institutional leaders and policy-makers and sets forth a revised taxonomy that offers insights into possibilities for VCUs in the future.
In the study, the researchers considered the virtual college/university, or VCU, to refer to distance learning consortia composed of public higher education institutions (two-year and/or four-year) within a single system or state. Multi-state initiatives, such as Western Governors University and SREB’s Electronic Campus, were excluded from the analysis, as were individual institutions, such as the University of Maryland University College.
From October 2002 through January 2003, the researchers sent surveys to the 61 U.S. organizations that met the definitional boundaries. In March 2003, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with six VCU leaders.
The final report is available at <www.wcet.info/>.
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