Academic Services Committee


April 13, 2006




Members Present: †Jeffrey Donnell (ME), Maureen Kilroy (Grad Office), Jim Sowell (PHYS)(Chair), Myrtle Turner (GTRI).


Members Absent: ††Bobby Beaulieu (SGA), Robert Braga (CHEM), Carol Colatrella (LCC), Joseph Hoey (OARS), Nancey Green Leigh (CRP), Jane Weyant (CoE).†


Visitor: Dr. Nelson Baker, Associate Vice Provost for Distance Learning and Professional Education.† †


1.        The meeting came to order at 1:05 p.m. on April 13, 2006 in room 317 of the Global Learning Center.†


2.        Nelson Baker gave an overview of Distance Learning and Professional Education (DLPE) at Georgia Tech.† DLPE is composed of Professional Education, the Language Institute, Distance Learning and the Global Learning and Conference Center (GLCC).† Focusing first on these components of DLPE, Nelson Baker made these points:


         Professional Education provides non-credit courses and certificate programs, with typical course durations being between one day and one week.† Students in such courses may earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) or similar credentials; courses are being developed to offer Continuing Medical Education (CME) units for physicians.† While many of these courses are delivered via technology, a substantial portion are delivered in traditional face-to-face sessions, with 40% of these courses being presented in the GLCC.† Professional Education now has more than 700 offerings, which generated around $12M in the last fiscal year; most of these funds were returned to the units that presented the courses.† Professional Education also provides the Tech2Night evening programs, with courses that typically run for three to six weeks.†


         Distance Learning primarily delivers Masters degrees for Georgia Techís academic units.† The academic units handle admissions for these MS programs, and they provide instructors for the courses that are taught. †Distance degrees must be approved by the Academic Senate and the Board of Regents; eight such degrees have been approved thus far.† Last year 73 students received MS degrees through Distance Learning; more than 500 students are now enrolled in Distance Learning degree programs, and more than 130 classes are offered each semester.†


         The Language Institute provides instruction in English as a Second Language, with offerings for both campus and off-campus populations.† Instruction is typically offered in 8-week modules, and is available in both evening and summer programs.† Seven levels of instruction are available, depending on the studentís proficiency in the language, and programs are available with emphasis on both written and oral skills.


         The Global Learning and Conference Center (GLCC), which is the home of DPLE, is one of 300 conference centers to be certified by the International Association of Conference Centers.† All the rooms in that facility are equipped to be capable of video conferencing and classroom capture for global interactions.†


At the end of the presentation, the following questions were raised:


In Distance Learning courses, do MS students get hands-on experiences in, for example, laboratories?†

The faculty instructors set the requirements for courses, and DLPE must make it possible for the student to access a laboratory that will provide the needed experience.† In many cases an acceptable laboratory can be located in the studentís area; some students will choose to travel to the Atlanta campus from time to time in order to complete laboratory requirements.†


Can Distance Learning students interact with faculty members?

Distance Learning classes are generally arranged as live broadcasts of regular courses at the Atlanta campus; Distance Learning students can participate in that live broadcast and ask questions of the instructor just as their on-campus counterparts are able to do.† Many students, such as working professionals who have time constraints, choose to view these lectures after the live broadcast has ended.†


Is the hotel part of the Global Learning and Conference Center?†

The hotel is not affiliated with GLCC.† The GT Foundation owns the hotel and has contracted its operation to Crestline, which operates hotels professionally.†


Space at the GLCC is expensive, forcing some departments and faculty to move outreach events and symposia to less-attractive facilities.† Are there plans to accommodate local needs by offering differentiated pricing or otherwise subsidizing local programs?†

While GLCC is not inexpensive, the prices are competitive for the services involved, which include setup, cleaning and food.† There are no current plans to overhaul the pricing structure.†


3.        The next meeting of the Academic Services Committee will take place in late August, 2006.† The business of that meeting will be to elect officers and to set a schedule and agenda for Fall, 2006.†


4.        The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey Donnell, Secretary