May 18, 2000

Contact: 
Philip Bransford, Oregon University System, 503-725-5717
Grace Hu, eCollege.com, 303-632-1640


Three Oregon University System Campuses Receive Grants for Online Programs

PORTLAND -- Three institutions within the Oregon University System today announced an initiative in partnership with
eCollege.com, comprising three online master's degrees and one bachelor's degree. The degree programs include Oregon Institute of Technology's Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT), University of Oregon's Master in Applied Information Management (AIM), and Western Oregon University's Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Special Education (MSE). 

"Oregon's public universities are toppling obstacles that bar access to higher education, and these days barriers can include a lack of time as much as the expanse of distance," said Oregon University System Chancellor Joe Cox. "We are pleased that three OUS campuses are receiving grants from eCollege.com. Thanks to funding from the federal Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnership program and from private providers such as eCollege.com, we are making quality higher education available to Oregonians who might not otherwise have the chance."

Denver-based eCollege.com is partnering with these institutions for the development and delivery of the degree programs. eCollege.com is an application service provider enabling educational institutions to offer an Internet-based environment for online campuses, enhanced classroom-based teaching, and full distance programs. The company has awarded the three universities grants as part of an initiative to provide greater access to quality degree programs over the Internet. 

The grant amounts are as follows: 

Oregon Institute of Technology
University of Oregon
Western Oregon University

$73,000 
$57,000 
$127,500 
"eCollege.com recognizes the commitment and drive behind the online initiatives of each of these institutions," said Rob Helmick, president and CEO of eCollege.com. "These programs not only make quality education more accessible for the immediate community, but they also allow each institution to extend its reach to students living in remote locations or occupied with childcare or job responsibilities." 

Oregon Institute of Technology's BSIT degree (
http://oitonline.org) is designed to prepare students to work as computer systems analysts and programmers. The program represents a unique blend between the disciplines of Software Engineering Technology (SET) and Management Information Systems (MIS). The BSIT degree emphasizes the development of business software (management and accounting especially), primarily using desktop and server programming tools, providing an avenue for those with an interest in computer application programming as opposed to system internals programming.

The University of Oregon developed the AIM program (
http://aim.uoregon.edu) to respond to rapid developments in information technologies and the resulting impact on organizations. The goal is to provide students with the knowledge and tools to operate as leaders in an evolving information environment. Curriculum is organized into four distinct core areas including Information Management, Business Management, Information Design, and Research. 

The MAT degree offered by Western Oregon University (
http://wouonline.org) enables currently employed teachers with three-year restricted licenses to complete a teacher preparation program that will qualify them for regular licensure. The program is designed to recruit candidates to meet teacher shortages Oregon faces in such areas as math, science and second languages. WOU will also offer a Master's Degree and Endorsement in Special Education, the largest shortage area for teachers in Oregon and nationally. WOU will contract with several education service districts throughout Oregon to provide licensure training in special education for future educators. 

The eCollege.com grants are closely aligned with a three-year federal grant to campuses in the Oregon University System. The $1.4 million federal grant, announced last fall, will enable seven public universities in Oregon to offer 17 bachelor- and graduate-level programs, eventually delivering over 100 courses using the Internet and other technologies. More about the OUS Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnership project can be found on the Web (
http://www.ous.edu/dist-learn/LAAP.htm).


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