Distance Learning Bridges the Rural (and Digital) Divide
When a series of state funding cuts in 2012 led Western Nevada College to begin shuttering all of its storefront satellite campuses that had been set up for rural students across a vast, 18,000-square-mile service area, the college’s distance…
Many colleges and universities are navigating harsh budget environments to successfully develop better and more cost-effective ways to provide far-flung students with equal educational opportunities.
77%Percentage of academic leaders who rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those in face-to-face classes
SOURCE: "2012 Survey of Online Learning" (Babson Survey Research Group, Jan. 2013)
Officials recognize that students living in rural areas remain the least likely to enroll or complete postsecondary education and training, says John White, deputy assistant secretary for rural outreach for the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions are becoming very aggressive and innovative in their outreach to rural students out of necessity, White says, but "the current lack of high-speed Internet and adequate bandwidth in many rural areas remain significant barriers to accessing higher education and the broader economy."
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