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K-State Today

November 7, 2011

Going the distance for education: University joins National Distance Learning Week

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

One week each year, schools, businesses and organizations celebrate National Distance Learning Week to highlight the growth, accomplishments and importance of distance education. This year, Kansas State University is joining in the week, Nov. 7-11.

National Distance Learning Week is sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association, a nonprofit association supporting distance learning research and development through educational training and communications.

"We're pleased to support National Distance Learning Week by raising awareness of the power and flexibility of online learning," said Sue Maes, dean of the university's Division of Continuing Education.

According to the association, more than 3.5 million people are taking online college courses or earning their college degrees online. Maes says Kansas State University is positioned at the forefront of providing these distance learning opportunities.

"K-State faculty have worked diligently to develop access to higher education for all Kansans. This is exemplified through the eight bachelor's degree completion programs, 22 master's degrees, a Ph.D. program, and 20 certificate programs that the university currently offers through distance learning," Maes said.

K-State's first-time participation in National Distance Learning Week is timely, with the university reaching a milestone of signing 2+2 agreements in general business with all 19 community colleges in the state of Kansas this year. The streamlined agreements allow students in Kansas to study two years at their nearest community college and complete the remaining two years of a general business bachelor's degree from K-State through distance education.

"These 2+2 partnerships have increased K-State's presence statewide and provided more access for all Kansas citizens to finish their bachelor's degree virtually," Maes said.

To celebrate National Distance Learning Week, the Division of Continuing is offering online and on-site activities through the week to help increase awareness of distance learning at K-State and provide resources on best practices in the field.

"In collaboration with the United States Distance Learning Association, we are providing links to free webinars on distance learning, covering topics such as online learning growth, learning styles and virtual/mobile learning," Maes said.

"In addition, we will offer distance learning trivia and games, both online and on-site in our student and faculty services office, in hopes of not only raising awareness about the significance of distance learning, but to celebrate and thank our faculty and students who support what we do and help us continue the university's successes in this area."

View activities and links for National Distance Learning Week at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/distance/ndlw.

Learn more about distance education opportunities at K-State by contacting the Division of Continuing Education at 1-800-622-2578 or informationdce@k-state.edu. More information about the United States Distance Learning Association is available at http://www.usdla.org.