Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Board Of Governors Will Choose A University To Lead Online Education Efforts

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The Florida Board of Governors approved a two-part plan to expand online learning in higher education.

The Florida Board of Governors has approved a plan to add online learning options in the State University System.

The board’s strategic planning committee has been taking testimony and working with those with a stake in the decision for more than a year on how Florida should expand online learning.

The plan doesn’t include a new university devoted solely to internet classes.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford liked the idea of “Online U,” but the board nixed it.

Weatherford said he is pleased with the Board of Governor’s work.

“I think they’ve set a great course for the Legislature and put us in a position to where we can utilize technology and leverage technology to creating that 21st century environment that our education system …and our students are looking for,” Weatherford said. “Hopefully it will turn into good policy this session.” 

The board voted Thursday to move forward with a two-part plan:

  1. The designation of a university, based on metrics approved in the 2012 legislative session, which would create a separate arm of high-quality online programs. This university would also create a research center to develop future online learning strategies.
  2. The formation of a system wide work group to continue looking into ways to better coordinate the online offerings that exist across the State University System.

“We want to build on the many strengths of our system,” said the board’s Patricia Frost, “while capitalizing on the global reputation of a single institution in the development of internationally competitive online programs.”

Frost called this “a very progressive step.”

The board will now work with lawmakers to move the plan forward.


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