Maine is one of the smaller states in the United States, yet it has created many wonderful educational opportunities. Many of these are in the rapidly expanding field of distance education. Students in this northeastern state have many opportunities open to them through a number of schools, and can achieve their educational dreams simply by sitting at a computer with high-speed internet and an e-mail account.
The University of Maine has one of the most technologically-advanced online programs in the country. Using the best course designers and IT professionals, the school has been on the cutting edge of educational technology for years. Offering both bachelor’s and master’s degrees to students, the school tailors its programs toward working adults who are wanting more education to enhance their career potential. A Bachelor’s degree is offered in University Studies, offered in either a BS or BA format. The uniqueness of the program is students get to create an individualized program of study while working closely with an advisor. With over 300 undergraduate classes to choose from, students from any walk of life can find something of interest. Master’s degrees offered online include Education, Liberal Studies and Information Systems. Graduate certificates are available in Early Childhood Education, Information Systems, Business Administration and many other specialties.
The Maine Department of Higher Education oversees the state’s distance learning programs and the technology used in them. The department ensures that distance learning remains student-oriented and that the latest technology is always available to schools and students. Much of its time is spent conducting research on the effectiveness of distance learning. According to its research, distance learning is every bit as effective as traditional classroom learning. By using the latest in voice and video technology, the schools in Maine are able to bridge the instructional gap that can sometimes exist in distance learning.
The University of Southern Maine offers many degrees and certificates available completely online, allowing students with work or other responsibilities to get their degree at their own pace. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available in many fields of study. Bachelor’s degrees are available in Communication, Business Administration, Liberal Studies and Organizational Studies. Master’s degrees are awarded in Leadership Studies, Adult and Higher Education and Disabilities Studies. Certificates are available for both graduates and undergraduates. Graduate certificates include Leadership Studies and Global Strategy. Undergraduates can choose from Gerontology as well as Leadership Studies and Global Strategy.
The Maine Distance Learning Project was created to make high school classes available online to students. By using the latest technology, students in every Maine high school have an opportunity to take classes online. They can take classes that may not be available locally, and students that are homeschooled can take advantage of it as well. The Project is designed to get high school students involved in their education and make them familiar with how education is delivered in today’s high-tech world. It hopes to have students better prepared for distance learning when they graduate high school and begin college.