PULLMAN, Wash. — Educators from around the country will gather in Bellevue next week to showcase new programs and discuss the rapidly growing area of distance education in the 21st century.
More than 300 faculty, staff and administrators are expected to attend the second annual “Distance Education: Designing for Success” conference in the DoubleTree Hotel May 27-29, hosted by Washington State University.
George Connick, a distance education pioneer and president emeritus of the Education Network of Maine, will deliver the keynote address. The Thursday, May 28, luncheon speaker will be Don Foshee, who has designed, built and managed some of the largest and most successful distance learning, training and telemedicine networks in the United States. He will share insights about the impacts of the convergence of human and technical aspects of distance education.
Other presentations will demonstrate how the rapidly developing advances in technology are being harnessed to meet the demand for college-level courses. One example will be Northern Virginia Community College’s “first of a kind” associate of science degree to home-based learners.
One of the most provocative topics will be how commercial enterprises such as publishing houses, software companies and private universities will compete or perhaps cooperate with traditional institutions of higher learning in delivering extended education, according to Muriel Oaks, conference chair and WSU associate vice president for Extended University Affairs.
A panel of Washington legislators, including Rep. Tom Huff, Gig Harbor, and Sen. Jeanette Wood, Woodway, will discuss issues such as cost-effectiveness and duplication of programs.
Conference sponsors include WSU, the University of Washington, Bellevue Community College, Skagit Valley Community College, Paul Allen’s Virtual Education Foundation, US West, PBS/Annenberg CPB, International Thomson Publishing, GTE Northwest, NCHEMS and Innovative Interactions, Inc.
Asymetrix, Information Management Group, Embanet Corporation, GTE Northwest, 3Com Corporation and US West Communications will be among vendors at the conference.
Information about the conference and workshops can be obtained by contacting Washington State University Conferences and Institutes at 1-800-942-4978, or by visiting their website at http://www.eus.wsu.edu/C&I/programs.

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