In hopes of saving tax dollars and reaching more students, state leaders in Minnesota say they plan to offer a substantially higher percentage of their courses online in the next seven years.
Tim Pawlenty, the state’s governor, and David Olson, the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, held a series of press events today announcing their intention to offer 25 percent of college credits online by 2015. A. Frank Mayadas, president of the Sloan Consortium, a group of colleges that offer instruction online, says he’s never heard of state leaders at such a high level making this kind of pledge to increase the amount of online teaching. But he said several other states are already moving in that direction. And he predicts that more will soon follow Minnesota’s lead. A study released this month by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found that enrollment in online courses increased 12 percent in 2007 over the previous year. By Jeffrey R. Young from The Wired Campus