Category Archives: Distance

Taiwan trip to explore study abroad connections

Whitney Morris, East Carolina University’s coordinator of faculty-led study abroad, has been awarded a Fulbright International Education Administrator’s Seminar grant to travel to Taiwan in March.

The purpose of the program is to build relationships in countries that may be underrepresented by American study abroad students, said Dr. Regis Gilman, executive director of the Office of Continuing Studies.

Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis) Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“By participating in the seminar, Ms. Morris will learn more about higher education in Taiwan and how ECU will be able to build relationships there to encourage faculty and student interest in non-traditional study abroad countries,” he said.

The grant provides a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about Taiwan’s higher education system while also gaining experience with its people and culture, Morris said.

Morris, who said she has never been to Asia, plans to look for areas of common interest and create a framework to begin faculty-led study abroad programs in Taiwan over the coming years. ECU currently offers faculty-led study abroad programs in a variety of countries in Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

“Taiwan is a country that has many of the same developmental priorities as eastern North Carolina, such as being emerging market economies in coastal communities, with many students in higher education coming from rural locations,” Gilman said. “I am extremely excited about both Whitney’s initiative in applying for the grant and the outcomes from her experience in Taiwan.”

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Funding for grants is made possible through appropriations by the U.S. Congress and contributions from partner countries and the private sector.

 

 

-by Jules Norwood

ECU removes hurdles for distance education students outside NC

East Carolina University, a leader in distance education, has made it easier for out-of-state students to take on-line classes at ECU.

In November, ECU was approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) which removes many of the barriers associated with enrolling in distance education classes across state lines. Institutions that are members of SARA can provide online education to students from all 44 SARA member states.

“NC-SARA opens the doors of enrollment for students throughout the United States while ensuring they are being provided clear and consistent means of raising issues,” said Charlene Lee, ECU’s state authorization compliance specialist.

According to Lee, students living in SARA states can immediately access all of ECU’s online programs and complete face-to-face and online experiential learning activities which include clinicals, internships and practicums.

“This is an essential authorization in providing ECU’s educational services nationally. When coupled with appropriate marketing we will be in an excellent position to expand offerings and once discovered, I believe our programs will become very popular from Maine to California,” said ECU Provost Dr. Ron Mitchelson.

ECU had to meet up to 50 different state licensure requirements and comply with the professional licensure agencies in each state before joining NC-SARA.

“As a result of our approval to become a NC-SARA institutional participant, students can enroll in our online programs with confidence knowing that we are ensuring access to quality educational offerings regardless of their location.”  Said Dr. Elmer Poe, with ECU’s State Authorization Compliance office.

Poe added that NC-SARA provides nationally recognized guidelines to help ECU evaluate its distance education offerings and ensure that best practices are being followed.

NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to oversight of postsecondary distance education. States and institutions that choose to become members operate under NC-SARA policies and standards that are overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements and administered by four regional higher education compacts. ECU is a member of the Southern Regional Education board compact.

According to Marshall Hill, executive director of NC-SARA, the initiative is increasing administrative efficiency and lowering the costs of obtaining authorization to provide distance education in states that join.

Hill noted that SARA institutions must annually commit to several steps designed to ensure that courses and programs provide high-quality learning opportunities that can help students reach their goals.

For more information, visit http://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions.
–Jamie Smith