York College Pursues Online Learning Options

York College has signed an agreement with LearningHouse to pursue online coursework. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, LearningHouse is a leader in online education. Starting with two classes during summer 2009, YC will develop a wide range of curriculum for online audiences.

Expanding our reach to include off-campus audiences and enhancing the learning environment for residential students, York College professors Bobby DeHart and Mark Miller are leaders in the initiative and prepared some of the first courses this summer for a web-based audience. Dr. Jackie Humphrey (YC class of 1959) will assume the role of online learning coordinator this fall as she begins her duties on campus.

“Every education major has several core requirements for their degree,” said DeHart. “By offering basic education coursework online during the summer, students have much needed scheduling flexibility during the fall.” DeHart (YC class of 1995), chair of the physical education department, added that he thinks the experience will be very beneficial for our students, “I’m excited to see our online courses grow over the next several years.”

Mark Miller, who chairs the natural sciences and mathematics department, is offering “Elements of Statistics.” He commented that the online format is especially suited for this type of class. “It will enable our students to make progress toward their degrees throughout busy summers of mission trips, vacations, and employment.”

"It's about student success,” Miller said. “Statistics is a course that doesn't work well with traditional, shortened summer school sessions. Having the class online allows students to spread their coursework over almost the entire summer and, if they need it, more time for more difficult concepts."

"The flexibility is incredible,” Miller then added with a smile, “but you still have to study!"

Patricia Jensen is teaching the required and high-demand health education class online to seven students this summer and enjoys the technology challenges of making the course the best it can be while delivering it from a distance. “The format is largely online forum discussions where I provide a series of questions and comments to prompt their thinking about the reading materials,” Jensen said. “The students are expected to post their own thoughts and respond to the posts of others. The result is an online stream of comments and discussion that allows us to learn from each other much the way we would if we were gathered in the same room.” 

President Steve Eckman is confident that online learning will play an integral part in the future of York College. “Higher education looks very different today than just 10-15 years ago,” he said. “Students still want the once-in-a-lifetime college experience that involves hanging out with friends, cheering on the basketball team, being mentored by a faculty member, and serving those in need. They also want their educational needs met. And to do that, York College is committed to providing solutions that fit today’s learning environment by taking advantage of today’s technology.”

“With online courses, York College isn’t limited to a 40-acre campus in Nebraska,” Eckman stated. “Online technology will allow us to fulfill our mission in ways we never envisioned and we can now transform student lives in entirely new ways. Our impact on the world just got easier."

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