Penn State World Campus
|Pennsylvania State University|
|Location||University Park (Admin. Office), Pennsylvania, USA|
Penn State World Campus or "Penn State Online" is the online campus of The Pennsylvania State University. Launched in 1998, the World Campus grew out of the University's long and distinguished history in distance education that began in 1892. The mission of the World Campus is to extend Penn State's undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs to learners who cannot attend another Penn State campus because of geography or life factors. The World Campus currently offers more than 120 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs in partnership with Penn State academic units, with additional programs being added to the curriculum on a continuing basis. World Campus offices and a major part of its technical infrastructure are located in the Outreach Building at Innovation Park on the University Park Campus.
Penn State started offering distance education courses in 1892, when it launched one of the nation's first correspondence study programs to farmers around Pennsylvania. More than one hundred years later, in 1998, the University reaffirmed its commitment to providing accessible learning to all who need it with the launching of its World Campus. One of several roots underpinning the policy decision to establish the World Campus was a decade of experimentation at The American Centre for Study of Distance Education in the College of Education, in which Professor Michael G Moore developed and taught some of the world's first online courses, including cadres of students in several cities in Mexico and Europe as well as the USA. Penn State Vice-President Jim Ryan became persuaded of the quality of the pedagogy being developed in these courses and in 1992 he commissioned the setting up of a university-wide Task Force to study the potential of a major initiative, the conclusion being that "The Task Force firmly believes that there is a very real possibility that national and international preeminence in distance education may prove to be a prerequisite to national and international preeminence in most other areas of academic enterprise". Moore led the development of the first World Campus Master's degree courses in adult education.
The World Campus uses multiple technologies to make some of Penn State's most highly regarded[peacock term] graduate, undergraduate, and continuing professional education programs available anytime, anywhere through the world wide web, computer interfacing, and other media.
Penn State World Campus offers undergraduate and graduate degrees online. Students must be accepted into the appropriate College for their chosen major after the initial acceptance into World Campus. For instance, a student wanting to major in Information Sciences and Technology must be accepted by the College of Information Sciences and Technology located at Penn State's University Park campus. The online courses are taught by the same faculty on campus and the required coursework is the same for both on campus and World Campus students. After graduating, World Campus students earn the same exact degree as University Park campus students and attend the same graduation ceremony. Penn State World Campus students come from all around the world. Diploma's will reference graduation from Penn State and not differentierated from on campus versus World Campus attendance.
Some World Campus courses require students to take proctored exams at locally approved educational institutes. Additionally, some courses require assignments to be completed in a live setting on webcam to ensure that the actual student is completing the assigned work. For instance, foreign language courses require video recordings of students conversing among their classmates in a live video conference in order to earn credit for oral exams. Such measures help maintain the academic integrity of the university's online courses.
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