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The Economics of Distance Education

The Change Magazine article highlights the great chasm in the beliefs of government leaders versus many in traditional higher education.

A WCET survey showed that many (certainly not all) distance education professionals think that it costs more to create, offer, and support an online course. In the author’s conversations with governors and state legislatures, almost to a person they are sure that the cost can only be less. Our take is that distance education can cost less if that is the mission and design of the program. Meanwhile, governors and legislators in some states are enacting laws and policies based on their beliefs. Absent a healthy dialogue about access, quality, and costs, we will increasingly find ourselves in a boxing match between the two sides.

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Together We Can Accomplish More

A survey of all known consortia and system-wide initiatives was conducted in February, 2018. The report summarizes the survey results.

Consortia and system leaders remain hopeful that their partnerships will increase student access, improve student success, realize efficiencies, and test new innovations. The survey results reflect the complexity of running and maintaining organizations that require cooperation. While there have been many changes in the higher education landscape since the 2008 survey was conducted, what has remained consistent is the consortia and system leaders’ commitment to live by the mantra: “together we can accomplish more.”

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2018 NC-SARA Enrollment Report

This is the third annual distance education reporting for NC-SARA, a voluntary agreement among U.S. states and territories that establishes national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs, serving over 1,800 institutions.

The 2018 Enrollment Report summarizes and analyzes the reported enrollments of 1,791 SARA institutions. Those institutions reported combined out-of-state enrollments of 1,225,022 students. The institutional response rate for the enrollment survey was 99.3%; non-responding institutions have been contacted and have committed to report in the future.

The report also provides comparisons to the 2016 and 2017 data reported to NC-SARA.

Additional Analysis and Writing Samples:

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