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OTHER ITA SITES:
Distance Learning Association
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. It promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity.
Itís Board of Directors features academics and officers from some of the best schools in the country including Stanford University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Texas. They run a number of programs designed to assist and support students and teachers grow and learn in the distance learning environment.
One of their best-known programs is called Educating Everyone and operating under the umbrella of the USDLA it provides direct broadcast educational programs for the Pre K-12, Higher Education, Teacher Professional Development and General Public constituencies. Program offerings include foreign language instruction, teacher training, and other general information using digital satellite transmission technology on a 24 x 7 schedule.
The USDLA is also a great resource for information about distance learning in this country. On their website at http://www.usdla.org you will find information about breakthroughs and firsts in the direct learning world. Like the fact that two students became the first to graduate from Purdue Universityís veterinary technician direct learning program. Another news item reported that a leading education finance company, Chela Education Financing, has agreed to provide $30,000.00 in scholarships to students who undertake an online degree distance learning program.
The USDLA also has 30 state chapters from Arizona to West Virginia, each of which provide the same resources and support to students and educators involved in distance learning programs within their state jurisdiction. It has a special chapter for the Federal Government District Learning Association and it has plans to expand so that every state in the union will have an active voice to promote distance learning in their area.
One of the most important roles that the USDLA plays is in the monitoring and regulation of distance learning programs throughout the United States. While they do not have the authority to grant or remove accreditation from a school or institution the USDLA does review and accredit distance learning institutions. They focus on evaluating the effectiveness of the distance learning program, evaluating the quality of the institutions themselves, and most importantly providing information on quality assurance of distance learning through its publications and website.
The USDLA is an independent voice that can speak out on concerns raised with them by all partners in the distance learning environment and plays an important role in ensuring that the best quality of education is available to as many people as possible through distance learning programs.
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