The shocking politics of online learning

Parties both support online learning, just different forms, and for different reasons

ecnaprilstory200A Republican governor and a Democratic governor in 1996 teamed up to convince the leaders of 17 states to create the all-online, competency-based Western Governors University. It was as bipartisan a venture as one could hope to find in politics.

“It was the liberal governor of Colorado, Roy Romer, and the conservative governor of Utah, Michael Levitt, who joined forces to create this new university,” said Russ Poulin, deputy director of research and analysis for WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. “It grew out of a joint frustration of the existing public systems in their states to meet the needs of their growing populaces and to be innovative.”

At the time, few outside of those states paid much attention to the young university and the bipartisan effort that produced it. Nearly 20 years later,WGU is now a fully accredited institution with 40,000 students – and online education as a whole is receiving more political attention than ever before.

This story is our cover story, part of our newly re-vamped eCampus News Digital Edition. To continue reading, please check out our April 2014 publication, now available online:

Learn more about our new digital publication, and a more communal eCN, in this month’s ‘Letter from the Editor.’

[Click image to go to the digital publication and read more about the politics of online learning]

eCampus News digital issue

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