Growth in Distance Learning Outpaces Total Enrollment Growth

A significant number of college students choose to enroll in “online” or distance education – never having to attend face-to-face classes. These students are comfortable communicating through technology and managing their learning without having to show up at a particular place and time. These students are often older with careers and families and want more control over their lives and education.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the nation, distance education is a form of education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor. Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband line, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and videocassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs.

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