The Division of Outreach & Distance Education at Texas Tech University Becomes a College

September 10, 2008

LUBBOCK - Officials at Texas Tech University recently announced the establishment of the College of Outreach & Distance Education. The new college is poised to increase access to a Texas Tech education by diversifying course delivery options that reach more students than ever before.

Under the leadership of Dean Matt Baker, the existing Division of Off-Campus Sites (DOCS) and the Division of Outreach & Distance Education (ODE) have been brought together to form the new college. Baker said he is looking forward to what lies ahead.

"The most exciting thing is that we now have the ability to increase students' access to Texas Tech's world-class educational opportunities, no matter where those students reside. Our programs are available to students in K-12 all the way to doctoral students and even lifelong learners."

Texas Tech University currently offers over 30 distance and off-campus programs.

At present, ODE administers K-12 and college distance learning offerings including an accredited K-12 diploma-granting program - Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD). The K-12 program is one of the largest of its kind in the United States. ODE also offers non-credit community outreach programs for K-12 students and adults, as well as academic outreach programs for professionals in the form of short courses, certificate programs, and conferences. It also hosts an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

DOCS currently coordinates credit and non-credit programs offered through TTU at Abilene, TTU at Amarillo, TTU at El Paso, TTU at Fredericksburg, TTU at Highland Lakes, and TTU Center at Junction.

The new college will enable Texas Tech University to plan, implement, administer and assess distance and off-campus programs more efficiently and effectively. The college will aid the university in reaching its goal of 40,000 students by the year 2020. One of the many goals of the new college is that every student enrolled at Texas Tech University have access to electronic courses and that an increasingly greater percentage of the formula-eligible semester credit hours taught at Texas Tech University involve electronic course delivery.

Texas Tech has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as being both a "Community-Engaged" university and a "Doctoral-Research-Extensive" university. As the largest comprehensive university in the western two-thirds of the state, with a land mass larger than 46 of the 50 states in the U.S., this region is underserved in terms of geographic access to higher education academic and outreach programs.

"As an engaged university, we have an obligation to provide transformational leadership in economic development," Baker said, "and economic development is possible only by having a highly educated workforce."

Baker said goals for the new college include greater access for place-bound students by working with academic departments and colleges in offering a larger array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and in offering continuing education programs designed to improve the quality of life of participants, and to re-tool a workforce that is in constant transition. Our K-12 program offers coursework which supplements the curriculum in many rural districts throughout the state and nation, as qualified teachers become even scarcer. In 2009, TTUISD is poised to launch a Virtual High School where students will be assigned avatars that allow them to interact with other students and instructors in a learning community designed by faculty, staff and students at Texas Tech.

For more information, contact:
Michele Moskos, Marketing Director, College of Outreach and Distance Education
Telephone: 806.742.7202, ext. 276

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