Distance Learning Programs

Distance learning programs begin at the elementary and secondary levels of education. According to a 2005 study by the U.S. Department of Education, 38% of high schools currently offer distance learning courses as an option for students. Distance learning programs at the pre-college level are especially helpful for people in rural areas. Some of the smaller districts that service rural communities do not have access to a large and diverse number of courses. A U.S. Department of Education study revealed that two-way interactive video is the most common source of technology used in high school level distance education programs. Many schools want to expand their distance learning programs but the cost of technology is a factor for most districts so many can not afford to expand.

Distance learning programs at the postsecondary or college level are increasingly popular. The U.S. Department of Education recorded that over half of postsecondary colleges offered distance learning courses in 2001. The popularity of distance learning programs is attributed mainly to the number of working adults who want to either begin or continue their education. Distance learning programs provide flexibility for working adults to complete coursework in the evenings or on the weekends. Postsecondary distance learning programs give students the opportunity to earn a degree from outside of their state or country of origin which has been made possible by online distance learning programs.

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Last Updated: June 3, 2019