Education News: Athabasca University to offer first DE Doctoral program

ATHABASCA (The Insider) – Athabasca University has received approval from the Minister of Advanced Education and Technology to offer its first doctoral program, a Doctor of Education (EdD) in distance education. The program, the first of its kind in North America, will admit its first students in August 2008.

?Athabasca University has established itself as a world leader in providing high-quality distance education, and it is fitting that AU’s first doctorate reflects our area of expertise,? Athabasca University president Dr. Frits Pannekoek said. ?We are very excited about this new development for our university as it paves the way for other doctorates the university is proposing.?

“Athabasca University has established itself as a world leader in providing high-quality distance education, and it is fitting that AU’s first doctorate reflects our area of expertise,? Athabasca University president Dr. Frits Pannekoek said. ?We are very excited about this new development for our university as it paves the way for other doctorates the university is proposing.?

?This program will enable students and faculty to form an online research community studying all aspects of learning at a distance,? Dr. Pannekoek said. ?The research is useful in many contexts as more and more aspects of online education are adopted by universities and by businesses for professional development.?

The new doctoral program will admit students annually, beginning with 12 for the inaugural year. Online applications will be accepted by the Centre for Distance Education (http://cde.athabascau.ca/) this fall, and admission decisions will be made by February 15, 2008. Interest in the program is high. To date, the Centre for Distance Education has received more than 300 inquiries from students across Canada as well as from the United States, New Zealand, Germany, Mauritius, Namibia and Uganda.

Prior to approval from the Minster of Advanced Education and Technology, the new EdD program underwent a rigorous review by the Campus Alberta Quality Council, which considers the readiness of institutions to deliver and sustain high quality degree programs. To meet this goal, all degree programs recommended by the council must offer an education of sufficient breadth and rigour to meet national and international program standards at recognized post-secondary institutions.

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