Director of Communications
HIGHLIGHTS: Board of Governors' workshop on online learning
The Strategic Planning Committee of the Board of Governors held a productive discussion on the expansion of online higher education.
DAVIE -- How should Florida expand its online higher education offerings? Is there a model—or blending of models—that would affirm Florida as a national leader in online learning? How can Florida’s higher education sectors and individual institutions work together to maximize efficiencies?
Those issues and more were discussed Monday by a diverse group of leaders from across Florida’s higher education systems, who came together at Florida Atlantic University’s Davie campus with the goal of exploring options for expanding online higher education.
“With what we learned today, there could be no doubt that Florida is already a major contributor to the world of online learning,” said State University System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “Now we need to organize our efforts to devise a plan that provides a maximum return on investment in the future.”
The workshop was sparked by the conclusion of the State University System-commissioned study of online education expansion, by the private consultant Parthenon Group. (Report here.) The group offered four options, which could be combined in some form:
1. Institution by Institution: Institutions continue to develop online offerings on their own, driving innovation in a way that fits each institution’s mission.
2. Institutional Collaboration: System-wide online degree program offerings are developed under the direction of a coordinating body and marketed to students across the state.
3. Lead Institution: One institution is selected by a bid process to drive the development of new online programs in target degree levels and disciplines.
4. New Online Institution: An online institution is launched with a mandate to drive the development of new online programs in target degree levels and disciplines.
The Committee directed staff to further research a hybrid of options two and three, and the implications of option four, for a continued discussion at the full Board of Governors’ meeting at the University of Florida on Jan. 16 and 17.
Facts about the State University System of Florida and Florida Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The System has 12 universities and a total enrollment of more than 330,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation (some states have more than one system). The Board was created in 2003 as a result of an amendment to the Florida Constitution (Article IX, Section 7). Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and ensuring the System’s coordination and operation. Members include 14 who are appointed by the Governor plus a faculty member, a student representative and the Florida Commissioner of Education. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the State University System’s chief executive. For more, including the Board’s Strategic Plan and Annual Accountability Report that reflects key measurements for the System, see www.flbog.edu.