When I sit down to my computer and log onto the online classroom, I don’t think about what took place 40 years ago to give me this choice. When I connect with colleagues in Ft Myers, Orlando, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and even in Fort Lauderdale, I'm putting in twenty hours a week, about double what a typical in-class face-to-face student invests in the classroom. I save time by not commuting to the classroom, but I invest more time in the online activities. I have no time to research why I have this choice, to work with an institution that has no walls.
This article is about the fight to bring choices to teachers for their graduate education. The story of distance education was nearly cut short by administrators in several universities in North Carolina who didn't want to lose students to a "foreign" university based in Florida. The opposition increased and only a lawsuit filed in federal court in North Carolina could settle the dispute.
If Nova University had not prevailed, some other university would eventually have used the UCC and the commerce clause of the Constitution to win access to students everywhere in the US. When I sit down now, when I see those ads for distance learning on TV, I smile. I know it was Nova that paved the way for freedom of choice in higher education.
ITDE graduate student
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