Mar 31st, 2005
And not the way they'd like. From Inside Higher Ed, news that a thief who stole a laptop at the University of california at Berkeley made off with information on around 100,000 applicants to Berkeley grad programs. Ouch.
Officials at the University of California at Berkeley said that a laptop stolen from the university's graduate division contained personal information for nearly 100,000 individuals. The computer included records for applicants to Berkeley's graduate programs from fall 2001 to spring 2004; students enrolled in the school's graduate programs from fall 1989 to fall 2003; and individuals who received doctorates from Berkeley between 1976 and 1999. Although no evidence exists that any of the stolen information has been used fraudulently,
according to a statement from the university, the institution is required by a California law to disclose the breach to those affected. The statement said the university is making "every reasonable effort to notify by mail or e-mail all 98,369 individuals whose names and Social Security numbers were on the computer."
Mar 31st, 2005
From the Arizona Daily Sun, via Distance Educator.
Tucson Medical Center is spending $1.2 million this year on scholarships, tuition and other costs connected with training 80 future nurses through Pima Community College and Northern Arizona University nursing programs.
As part of the partnership, NAU will expand its distance learning program to Tucson.
Mar 28th, 2005
From Athabasca University, a new program in criminal justice offered at Grant MacEwan College.
"When you start looking at how other cultures deal with their law breakers, you soon discover very different assumptions about the nature of crime and its punishment,&lrquo; said course co-ordinator Dr. Vince Roper. " This is not only important in understanding other cultures; it also makes us question the assumptions underlying our own criminal justice system".
The subject matter expert, author and teacher of this course is Michelle Andrews, chair of the Correctional Services Program at Grant MacEwan College (GMC). Student feedback from this first offering will be used to revise the final phase of course development.
In the course, there will be an emphasis on how social, political and global factors influence the development of criminal justice practice and policy. The course will also focus on the differences in common, civil, socialist and Islamic legal systems, and how different countries across the globe interpret and approach issues such as policing, the court system, corrections, and juvenile justice.
Mar 28th, 2005
Via Distance Educator, from the Financial Times, a story on how e-learning and corporate universities in Europe are using business models as a benchmark for their programs.
Corporate universities can now turn to Clip, the Corporate Learning Improvement Process, as a quality benchmark, while the introduction of the Certification of e-learning (CEL) also offers a standard for customers.
The CEL has to some extent been born out of necessity. E-learning has much to recommend it; it is accessible, quick and once established, it is cheap. These benefits have led to its rapid growth.
However, there is cause for concern, as the quality of both the products and the programmes varies widely. To address this, the European Foundation for Management Development, the Swiss Centre for Innovations in Learning at the University of St Gallen, and Spirus Applied Learning Solutions formed a joint initiative, the CEL.Gray's E-Learning Weblog is here is also a good source of information on the subject.
Mar 24th, 2005
From Inside Higher Ed, 23 March 2005 …
The U.S. Department of Education has proposed creating a national database of college students, but the idea has drawn heavy criticism for its use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals. The current system for reporting student progress, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, reports aggregate data for institutions and cannot accurately track students who start at one college or university and transfer to another. The proposed database would track individuals, offering more accurate data for graduation rates and other statistics, but some argue that those gains would come at the expense of student privacy. David Baime, vice president of government relations for the American Association of Community Colleges, said that despite the benefits to community colleges in particular from such a system, his organization opposes the plan "primarily due to privacy concerns, expressed to us by our members." David L. Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, said, "The proposal takes us down the slippery slope toward Big Brother oversight of college students, and of those same citizens beyond their college years."A bit of commentary on this by Jake Savage here.
Mar 24th, 2005
A very interesting distance degree being offered by Penn State University, highlighted at Distance Educator.
Beginning spring semester 2006, Penn State College of Medicine will offer the first master's in homeland security degree with a public health preparedness focus through Penn State's World Campus, the university's online education program. Penn State's Board of Trustees approved the degree today (March 18).
The goal of the online Master of Homeland Security in Health Preparedness is to prepare current homeland security professionals and individuals interested in transitioning into the field. It is specifically focused on public health preparedness.
Mar 21st, 2005
The Epistolizer has a few interesting comments on the recent listing of accredited colleges and universities, arguing that this may stifle some of the innovation made in distance education. I have to agree … to an extent. I'd fall more into the camp of trying to protect students as well as employers against those real scam diploma mills as I'm a bit wary about how this does pass the tainted label to 'online universities.' Still though, I'm certainly quite supportive of what Meekins does go on to say about independent study and career experience. Often there seems to be too little support and encouragement for this in the culture when compared with the too high regard given to the ever more pricey degrees at the most well known higher education institutions.
The government has released a database of schools accredited in a manner approved by the Department of Education.
The purpose of the database is to serve as a reference to protect employers from hiring those whose credentials come from so-called diploma mills. Often these schools require little more than a check to acquire a degree.
However, the database may also stifle the innovations in distance education that have arisen over the past few years since it equates "unaccredited" with "underhanded". Already the Washington DC Fox affiliate, WTTG Channel 5, is calling it a "List Of Real Colleges and Universities", making no distinction between the unaccredited schools that require a significant amount of work and those that merely accept your check and will even pad your grades based on what one is willing to pay.
Mar 21st, 2005
Not really a fire sale, but there seems to be a lot of federal money out there for those in the fire services, or for the purposes of this weblog, those studying fire service programs through distance education. I'm not sure exactly if any of our sponsors offer such programs but I'll look. In the meantime, here's an interesting story from Firehouse.com for anyone interested in going into the fire services.
By the end of the 2004 FIRE Act (Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program) grant period, the federal government will have distributed almost $2 billion directly to the fire service. This is an incredible amount of funding for a segment of public safety that has been under-funded, when compared to law enforcement, by 10-to-1 for several decades. This bonanza of money heaped on the American fire service over such a short period has helped bridge the disparity in fire service preparedness to large disasters. When you add other federal grant programs into the mix like Homeland Security (WMD training and exercises), Volunteer Fire Assistance Fund (equipment for wildland firefighting), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) pre- and post-Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (wildland fires, hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (EMS training, rescue tools, equipment and vehicles), Technology Opportunity Program grants (distance education, telecommunications and interoperability), to name just a few of the other top federal grant-making organizations, the fire service has an unprecedented number of grant opportunities.
Mar 21st, 2005
From the North County Times out of California, a story on students studying in science distance education programs.
Today's college students are world travelers when it comes to the Web —- many enrolling in at least one Internet-based class before they graduate. Click on any local college Web site and countless online courses scroll down the screen.
Across the country, some universities have whole virtual departments and 49 percent of public colleges offer complete online degree programs, according to the Sloan Consortium, a consortium of institutions and organizations dedicated to providing quality online education.
"Student enrollment has gone from 100 a decade ago to more than 3,000 students," said Lynn Pierce, public information coordinator at MiraCosta College in Oceanside. "Now we have 60 Cyber Costa faculty members teaching more than 73 courses online —- in almost every subject imaginable."
Mar 20th, 2005
From the Chronicle of Higher Education and Educause.
A new online television network began operating this month, offering programs from 33 college and university stations around the United States. The Open Student Television Network is supported by the CampusEAI Consortium in cooperation with Internet2. CampusEAI, a member of Internet2, is an organization of more than 100 colleges and universities dealing with software and digital content. The network runs on Internet2's high-speed backbone, resulting in an extremely high-quality signal. For those watching the new network who are not connected to Internet2, however, the picture quality can be
compromised, though the sound works fine. Supporters of the network said it provides a needed avenue to get valuable campus-produced programming to broader audiences. Amy Grill, graduate student at Emerson University and manager of Emerson Television Channels, said, "We've got all of this content, and we're looking for ways to distribute it."