Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An online education from... (UPDATED AT END OF ORIGINAL POST)

...the University of California?

What? One of the elite public universities in this country is willing to offer an online degree? It could happen, and needless to say the prestige of the UC system ensures that the issue of online education is about to take a significant turn.

There are a variety of courses that UC could opt to take online, and the university is not going to immediately move into a full online program.

I can understand the hesitation of some people at the institution (or elsewhere) fearing that the UC brand could be tarnished by an online degree. I can accept that rationale, except it must be tempered by the reality that the economic stress public universities face (and it's not any better at private schools) requires that their leaders consider alternative sources of income.

You could call that selling out. Or you could acknowledge that in the absence of any real leadership by state governments, which continue to trim dollars for higher education, the need to use the online technology as an income source is necessary.

UPDATE: 9:00 a.m. EDT: And speaking of vacating leadership in the halls of states' governor's mansions and legislatures, check out this from the Wall Street Journal. So, let's see if I understand this correctly -- state governments can turn to "vice" to fund what they need, but universities shouldn't go online to fund what they need?

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