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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What's next for Florida's online university idea?



It's been almost a year since newly installed Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford publicized his idea for the state to establish an online university. Now in power, he's still talking about promoting a bigger commitment to virtual education, even as some states such as Idaho push away from the concept (as a high school graduation requirement).

The Florida Board of Governors is moving right along with Weatherford.

The BOG released this week a study, months in the making, looking into its options to expand online course availability. The four primary ideas up for consideration are:

Institution by Institution: Institutions continue to develop online offerings on their own, driving innovation in a way that fits each institution’s mission.

Institutional Collaboration: System-wide online degree program offerings are developed under the direction of a coordinating body and marketed to students across the state.

Lead Institution: One institution (or a collaborative group) is selected by a bid process to drive the development of new online programs in target degree levels and disciplines.

New Online Institution: An online institution is launched with a mandate to drive the development of new online programs in target degree levels and disciplines.

The BOG's strategic planning committee plans to take up the discussion in December. Online education in Florida clearly has found its place. But does it need to be bigger than it currently is in the universities (Option 1 above)? Should a Florida Virtual University be in the mix?

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7:05am]


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