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Reports from Policy Analysts

Florida - Online Higher Education

Submitted On: Monday, August 21, 2017

Analyst: Kaplan, Jeffrey/Univ of Central Florida

Jeffrey S. Kaplan, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Higher Education NCTE Policy Analyst, Monday, August 21, 2017

There is a significant debate in the Florida Legislature about higher education and the future of online education.

Should we do more?

Should we do less?

And how should Florida spend its money?

On improving brick and mortar schools and attracting professors?

Or, should they devote their resources to more and more online degrees?

Naturally, this debate affects us all - as future teachers and leaders will benefit - or not - from these decisions.

As reported by Jessica Bakeman in Politico:

"Florida’s public universities are racing toward a dramatic expansion of online education, despite deep divisions among politicians and policymakers and questions about cost and quality.

The State University System is likely to exceed its ambitious goal of soon having hundreds of thousands of undergraduates take almost half of their courses virtually — an objective that Gov. Rick Scott supports for both philosophical and practical reasons. But he also wants to eliminate the fees associated with online courses, even though the system’s board of governors, which he appoints, says such a move would threaten progress.

Meanwhile, state Senate president Joe Negron, whose top priority is improving the university system, sees the escalation as a threat to his ambition to redefine Florida as a bastion of elite higher education.

The views espousedby Scott and Negron are at the center of a statewide debate over regulating the future of online higher education in Florida: Essentially, can virtual courses and degree programs be accessible, affordable and high quality?"

For a more a detailed version of this debate see this in Politico by Jessica Bakeman, April 3, 2017 


Academic Level

Higher Education



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