by Brad Duncan
With an ever-increasing demand for online distance learning programs by students at all levels, developing adequate programs to meet the needs of these students has become a crucial enterprise. To assist the professionals who now find themselves creating these programs, the University of Kentucky College of Education and UK Distance Learning Programs have created the Distance Education Graduate Certificate, which was awarded to the first group of 19 recipients on Jan. 15.
The program, which offers courses in distance education delivery and course design through the College of Education Department of Curriculum and Instruction (EDC) and Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling (EDSRC), requires 12 graduate credit hours that can be completed within one or two years, and all courses are delivered in a distance education format.
“Distance education is quickly becoming a popular mode for delivery instruction in higher education, and faculty and future faculty need the skills necessary to deliver quality programs so they can be competitive in today’s marketplace,” said Belva Collins, professor in EDSRC. “The certificate gives students a credential to make them more marketable and skilled as they search for jobs or seek promotion in higher education.”
The program is for anyone in higher education or the private sector, including graduate and doctoral students; faculty; distance learning administrators; teachers developing online programs; and government and private sector employees. Benefits for certificate recipients include earning course credit for other graduate programs; utilizing a variety of technologies; analyzing the research in the field of distance education; designing the framework for a higher education course using distance education technology; examining and evaluating existing distance education programs; and identifying key factors that are critical to the success of a distance education program.
“The Distance Education Graduate Certificate has provided me with a unique opportunity to develop the skills necessary to effectively deliver online instruction in a variety of formats,” said Channon Horn, a doctoral student in EDSRC. “Dr. Collins has provided me with the opportunity to participate in her class as a student and to assist in the enhancement of her course as a teaching assistant. The combination of roles provided a powerful learning experience that has prepared me to develop and deliver knowledge to students in the most efficient manner possible through some of the most advanced online delivery systems available.”
Those wishing to apply to the program must gain admission to the UK Graduate School. Evidence of an awarded baccalaureate degree must come from an accredited institution of higher learning, while graduate student admission status may be post-baccalaureate or non-degree. Those students who are enrolled in graduate programs at other institutions may be admitted to the Graduate School as visiting students.
For more information, visit the Distance Education Certificate Program Web site or contact Collins at (859) 257-8591 or email@example.com, Doug Smith (EDC) at (859) 257-1824 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Connie Baird (Distance Learning Programs) at (859) 257-8135 or email@example.com.