This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 2, 1999

College Students Will Return to 4-Year Completion

59 days until January 1, 2000
431 days until January 1, 2001

Lately, more students have required four and a half to five years (and sometimes longer) to earn their undergraduate degrees. Crowded and closed college and university courses frustrate the completion of college degrees in four years.

With the advent of distance learning opportunities, we predict that's going to change... and very soon. The origin of this trend will not be found, however, in the huge state schools--where the problem is most critical.

Community colleges have taken the lead by offering distance learning opportunities, specifically classes over Internet. These course offerings offer four major benefits to students:

  1. These Internet courses allow students access to credit courses they were previously shut out of.
  2. They give students the chance to manage their time better and, in many cases, eliminate Monday and/or Friday classes.
  3. Students save transportation time and money, because they can "attend" the courses from their homes or offices.
  4. Additional courses not offered during the day, like those leading towards certifications, are now available to them over the Internet.

Although the community colleges are pioneering these efforts, the larger state and private colleges and universities will soon follow suit. For the schools, there are obvious benefits as well:

  1. The schools earn more revenue from a greater number of course offerings.
  2. Their students appreciate the opportunities to manage their time better and save commuting time and money, not to mention being able to graduate in four years.
  3. With the certification courses, schools have an additional platform on which to reach out and connect with local corporations.
  4. Schools can expand their base of students to include the disabled and home bound.
  5. They enhance their reputations in their communities and regions as centers for training and higher education.

      As new technologies, like streaming video, add to the value and effectiveness of distance learning, all colleges and universities will come to capitalize on these new ways to help students learn.

      Corporations and entrepreneurial training companies are moving aggressively into the field of distance learning. Watch for exciting developments.

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