Marlboro College

NewsPress Release -Persons School Chosen for Federal Distance Education Demonstration Program

BRATTLEBORO, VT - In a recent announcement by U. S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, The Persons School of Marlboro College was named as one of the new projects under the Distance Education Demonstration program, which tests new ways of helping students finance their distance education studies.

The Persons School offers three master’s programs focused on Internet technologies. Since these programs are designed for working professionals they all involve some distance learning. However, The Persons School was selected for participation in the federal program based on its Internet Teaching Certificate Program, conducted solely over the Internet. This program, designed to prepare teachers to plan, design, deliver and evaluate Web-based courses, consists of four courses facilitated by some of the finest instructors in the field of online learning, and supported by technology professionals at The Persons School.

According to a 1999 education department report, enrollments in distance education classes more than doubled in three years, increasing from 753,640 in the 1994-95 school year to 1,632,250 in the 1997-98 school year, and the rapid growth is expected to continue.

"This administration wants to make sure that no one is left behind when it comes to access to higher education and training," Paige said. "Distance education enables countless Americans to reach their academic goals without the restrictions of time and place that make it difficult for people like working parents, rural students, and students with disabilities to get an education."

A number of statutory and regulatory provisions currently limit the growth of distance education programs at institutions that provide federal financial aid to students. Under the Distance Education Demonstration program, selected schools receive waivers from one or more of these requirements in order to give their students greater access to financial aid. The program provides waivers for both institutions that enroll 50 percent or more of their students or provide 50 percent or more of their courses by distance education, who are currently barred by the statutory rule. It also permits qualified students at participating institutions who complete an equivalent to the traditional 30 weeks of instruction in a shorter period of time to receive a full year’s worth of aid for their education expenses.

Claudine Keenan, director of academic programs at The Persons School, said "We are delighted to learn of our selection for this project, which will help more teachers access professional development online." Keenan noted that since teachers in the program learn online, they are well prepared to teach others online. Established in 2000, the program was first made possible by a grant from the A.D. Henderson Foundation of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused on Internet technologies. The Persons School prepares students to lead the Internet and online strategies of companies, non-profit and educational institutions.The Persons School is located in the Marlboro College Technology Center, which brings together education and entrepreneurship, while offering technology resources to the community.

More information about The Persons School of Marlboro College is available at persons.marlboro.edu or by calling 802-258-9200.

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