The Global Campus Meets a World of Competition

CAROL’S SUMMARY: Private career colleges like University of Phoenix have pioneered in the on-line learning environment because they are completely-student centered. In their language, they might say “customer-centered.” Traditional colleges who are still under pressure for high academic and research standards often
struggle to make students a top-priority with so many competing priorities to juggle.

In the on-line world, traditional colleges have lagged behind the private career colleges and it is costing traditional universities a bundle. In the article below, the cost issues, especially, are laid out during these very
difficult economic times. The on-line option in addition to student success, retention, research and fund-raising, has become onerous but necessary as our world marches towards a whole new learning and teaching model in the on-line learning world.


Online-education venture at the U. of Illinois tries to distinguish itself from other distance-learning programs


The University of Illinois Global Campus, a multimillion-dollar distance-learning project, is up and running. For its March-April 2009 term, it has enrolled 366 students.

Getting to this point, though, has looked a little like the dot-com start-up bubble of the late 1990s. Hundreds of Internet-related companies were launched with overly ambitious goals, only to later face cutbacks and other struggles to stay alive. Most crashed anyway. Some observers now say the Global Campus must try to avoid the same fate of churning through a large initial investment while attracting too few customers.

The project, planned about four years ago, was designed to complement existing online programs offered by individual Illinois-system campuses at Urbana-Champaign, Springfield, and Chicago. Those programs primarily serve current students as an addition to their on-campus course work. The Global Campus, in contrast, seeks to reach the adult learner off campus, who is often seeking a more focused, career-related certification or degree, such as completing a B.S. in nursing.

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