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Sharing best practices. An online resource area is available to faculty teaching distance courses for the purpose of sharing best practices and tips and for locating online resources for improving distance education.

5)  College Support

College support encompasses broad support from a variety of levels within the organization. It is essential to support distance learning with appropriate policies and funding.

A.

Policies

Technology Plan. The college should have a technology plan in place that addresses distance learning.

Accreditation.  The college offering distance learning is expected to meet the requirements of its own regional accreditation body.

Planning. The college’s long range planning, budgeting, and policy development processes reflect the facilities, staffing, equipment, and other resources essential to the viability and effectiveness of the college’s distance learning program.

Resources. The college’s policies concerning distance learning resources and technology support give high priority to integrated, user-friendly hardware, software, and communication systems that help faculty and students use these technologies efficiently.

Course scheduling and program delivery. The college maintains a collaborative process for distance learning course scheduling and program delivery and communicates this information to all distance learning partners.

Student services. The college’s academic services and student services policies meet the expectations of the newest generation of learners – i.e. accessible admissions, registration, and advising services and, at the WTCS level, inter-college registration.

Environment. The college creates a positive distance learning environment that encourages risk taking and creativity.

B.

Funding

Resources. The college possesses the equipment and technical expertise required for distance learning, technology investments for distance learning are treated equally with regard to other instructional infrastructure investments, and inter- and intra-college sharing of resources for distance learning is promoted.

Professional development. The college invests in professional development for faculty preparation and technical assistance and support for distance students.

Fees. The college determines policies for the allocation of distance learning FTEs, tuition, and costs.

Organizational structure. The college has a recognizable administrative unit with responsibility for distance learning and that works collaboratively with the college’s computer services, libraries, faculty support units, and student support units.

WTCS Distance Learning Guidelines

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