Sreb's Electronic Campus
SREB'S ELECTRONIC CAMPUS
In February 2004, the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) launched a more robust Electronic Campus, recreating it as a regional "learning network for the South" with improved levels of function. The expanded Electronic Campus Web site (http://www.ElectronicCampus.org) now provides more regional information, online services, and connectivity to colleges and universities across the sixteen SREB member states, and builds on and adds significant levels of "functionality" to the original Electronic Campus. While the learning network serves all learners, it is targeted at the unique needs of adult and e-learners to help them get the education they need to meet the demands of the twenty-first-century workforce. The Electronic Campus helps them find courses and degrees, secure career information and guidance, locate financial aid, and complete the admission process online. It is now a simpler, friendlier one-stop Web site for all learners.
SREB's original Electronic Campus functioned as an "electronic marketplace" of courses and programs from hundreds of participating colleges and universities from the sixteen member states. Established in 1998, the Electronic Campus has grown from 104 courses to more than 9,000 courses and over 450 degree programs from colleges and universities throughout the South. New courses and programs are added continually.
The Southern Regional Education Board, the nation's first interstate compact for education, was created in 1948 at the request of Southern business, education, and governmental leaders. It is designed to help leaders in government and education work together to advance education and thus improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB's member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Distance Learning Program
The Electronic Campus provides detailed common and comparable information about distance learning courses and programs offered by participating colleges and universities. The goal is to provide enhanced educational opportunities for adult e-learners as well as traditional and nontraditional students by removing many of the barriers that have long hindered access to higher education.
Courses and programs are available in a variety of delivery formats. The predominant delivery method is the World Wide Web. Courses and programs are available via the Web in both synchronous and asynchronous modes. Other delivery formats are videotapes, satellite, CD-ROMs, compressed video, and open broadcast. Information on the delivery formats for each course and program is available on the Electronic Campus Web site at the address listed in the Contact section.
Programs of Study
The Electronic Campus provides access to more than 450 academic programs from regionally accredited public and private colleges and universities. Programs are available in a variety of disciplines and majors at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Certificate programs at various levels are also available. More than 9,000 credit courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, all offered electronically, are available and fully searchable on the site.
All courses and programs available at the Electronic Campus meet SREB's Principles of Good Practice and have undergone a review at the institutional, state, and regional levels. The Principles are the quality cornerstone of the Electronic Campus. Institutions offering courses and programs must meet a variety of requirements: the course or program must provide appropriate interaction between faculty members and students and among students, high-quality faculty members must provide appropriate supervision of the program or course that is offered electronically, and academic standards for all programs or courses offered electronically must be the same as those for other courses or programs delivered at the institution from which they originate.
The expanded Electronic Campus also offers specialized portals to help individuals meet their professional development needs in specific career areas. The first is the Teacher Center (http://TheTeacherCenter.org), a new site that links teachers, administrators, counselors, librarians, teacher aides, and aspiring teachers to a comprehensive set of services. These educators can search for and enroll in online courses and programs that are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level and that provide either college credit or continuing education units. The portal also provides information about financial aid; information about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and each state's requirements for highly qualified teachers; information about each SREB state's licensure, certification, and alternative routes to teaching; and numerous other online services.
The Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus program enables a student in the SREB states to get a waiver of out-of-state tuition if certain conditions are met. Those conditions include the following: no public college or university in a student's home state (state of residence) offers a degree program in the chosen field of study; the program is available in another SREB state participating in the Academic Common Market; the program is available through distance learning; the home state adopts/accepts the program for its residents; the student meets admissions requirements; and the student can be certified as a resident in their home state to participate. Several degree programs are now available through the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus.
Many of the SREB region's most respected professors teach courses and programs on the Electronic Campus. The faculty members respond to students' questions online and often list times that they can be reached by telephone in their campus offices. Students often say communication with online professors is as effective as or even more effective than in a classroom setting.
Each college or university handles admission to its degree programs offered on the Electronic Campus. Students can access this information directly from its Web site. Many institutions allow potential students to complete the application for admission online with just a few mouse clicks. Students who wish to enroll in a specific course may be able to do so without formal application and admission. The enrollment procedure and requirements for all colleges and universities participating in the Electronic Campus are outlined on its Web site.
Tuition and Fees
Each college or university offering courses and programs sets its tuition and fees. Tuition and fee charges are available at the Electronic Campus site.
A growing number of colleges and universities participating in the Electronic Campus are offering courses at a single or "electronic rate." These rates apply to students enrolling in courses irrespective of their residence. These courses are clearly marked to help more students gain access and afford these learning opportunities.
Participating colleges and universities coordinate financial aid. Specific information on financial aid is available from the institutions. General information is available on the Electronic Campus site.
Anyone with Internet access may search courses and programs available through the Electronic Campus. There is no charge for accessing or using the services available at the site. A simple registration can be completed when visiting. Creating an account (registration) allows users to use (and reuse) data to complete online applications, save searches, establish e-mail and personal calendars, and take advantage of other services described at the Electronic Campus.
Mary Agnes Larson
Associate Director, Electronic Campus
Southern Regional Education Board
592 10th Street, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30318-5776
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.ElectronicCampus.org
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