Distance Learning Versus On Campus Experience - College Presidents Weigh In

Aug 2, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky.  - The presidents of UK, Transylvania, Morehead State, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College participated Thursday in a round-table discussion on emerging higher education trends.

Eli Capilouto, Owen Williams, Wayne Andrews, and Augusta Julian shared thoughts and fielded questions on topics ranging from college affordability & student loans, to the rapid expansion of online college courses. 

"The money that M.I.T. and Stanford and all of these institutions are spending on online education; they are just making an investment.  It's highly speculative, they don't know where it's going to take us.  All we know is there is a tsunami that's about to wash over us.  And of course it will be significant", Williams said.

BCTC President Augusta Julian concurred:

"Our system and our college really focus on that as an accessibility opportunity for students who are interested in community colleges because it is such a big part of our mission."

However some attendees expressed concern over whether distance learning opportunities end up short-changing  a student’s overall on-campus experience; especially the social aspects of higher education.

Meanwhile, UK President Eli Capilouto said his school is addressing infrastructure needs for the first time in decades.

Morehead State President Wayne Andrews touted a program that allows high school students to take advanced courses for full college credit. 

And  Julian said schools must take into consideration the changing needs and expectations of students.  The event was part of the College Business Management Institute’s 60th annual conference at the University of Kentucky.