Online Learners And Technology: A Gap In Higher Education And Student Affairs Professional Preparation

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Quarterly Review of Distance Education




Online learning, an essential component of the higher education landscape on a global scale, has become a lucrative operation for colleges and universities. Enrollment in online programs continues to outpace enrollment in higher education overall, particularly in the North American market. Even so, there is little evidence that graduates of North American higher education and student affairs preparation programs enter the workforce with the knowledge, skills, and competencies required to support undergraduate and graduate online learners. A mixed-method national survey of programs in the United States was conducted to develop a picture of the ways higher education and student affairs graduate preparation programs currently prepare future professionals to address the needs of online learners. Results indicate that preparation of higher education and student affairs professionals for the delivery of services to online students is not yet seen as an integral component of these graduate programs.


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