Report of the Distance Education Task Force

February 19, 2007


Executive Summary

UNC General Administration is developing an online portal, University of North Carolina Online, to market and provide access to distance education/online learning opportunities across the UNC system. The portal is scheduled to launch in spring 2007 and will be fully functional by August 2007. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little charged a Task Force to recommend how UNC-Chapel Hill should position itself and what opportunities might be pursued in the context of online learning. The Task Force met several times and engaged in considerable discussion and development. We also consulted directly with officials at GA and drew from experiences on our campus, the literature, and trends in online learning in developing this report.

UNC-Chapel Hill has been a leader in developing distance and online education, particularly within several of its professional schools.1 While the campus has substantial strength in online instruction, there is even stronger potential to develop new and expanded approaches to reach students with graduate and professional programs across North Carolina, the U.S. and around the world. We are committed to the shared engagement of faculty and students to maintain the highest academic standards, providing appropriate educational opportunities for different learners through a range of academic experiences, and serving the people of North Carolina. In considering the strengths of UNC-Chapel Hill and the University’s Academic Plan, we view short-term potential growth in online instruction as occurring primarily within the professional schools. These schools have been innovators in creating hybrid learning programs that combine the best of in-person instruction with optimal use of online instruction. Students have responded positively to online instruction as shown in a number of published evaluations conducted by our faculty (e.g. see Cannon, M, 2001, Davis, MV, 2006, and Umble, K, 2000).

The University of North Carolina Online portal offers many opportunities to the UNC system and to UNC-Chapel Hill. We commend GA for building the portal “the University of North Carolina way,” respecting the autonomy of each campus with regard to student admissions, eligibility of faculty who teach in online instruction programs, and standards for evaluating and maintaining academic quality. Centralized marketing and communication could benefit our academic distance education programs. Moreover, the portal has the potential to strengthen engagement with citizens of North Carolina and beyond. We welcome opportunities for continued involvement in planning, implementation and evaluation of the portal. This includes reviewing pre-publication materials to communicate about and market distance education programs. We recommend that Carol Tresolini, PhD, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives, be the contact person and spokesperson for UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Task Force identified several principles about distance education and online instruction.

  • Distance education sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill is most appropriate for students with professional careers who seek graduate or professional licensure, certificate and degree programs. Although our College of Arts and Sciences does not foresee offering degree programs through distance education, we recognize that offering professional undergraduate degrees (e.g., the BSN) and individual undergraduate courses is of value and consistent with the public service mission of the
  • While distance education can be effective at the level of both individual DE courses and degree/certificate/licensure programs, UNC-Chapel Hill should emphasize the
  • The characteristics of distance education faculty should parallel similar programs on campus. Faculty should not be segmented by their instructional
  • DE program evolution should be related to campus instructional and pedagogical innovations. Investment in these innovations is essential if DE programs are to be state- of-the-art, competitive and sustainable. Investment areas should include program development (including updates of current programs), delivery and evaluation. Funding models should be compatible with investment in these
  • UNC-Chapel Hill should support use of open-source technologies and the open-source community in the development and deployment of DE tools and


In 2006, the University of North Carolina General Administration announced plans to create University of North Carolina Online, a web portal to educational opportunities across the UNC system. As described in a recent online survey launched by GA,

“The 16-campus University of North Carolina is developing a system-level portal that will be used to direct students to online programs offered by UNC institutions…. This initiative will in no way affect current admissions processes, funding arrangements, or “ownership” of your online programs. It is simply a means to assist the public to learn about your online programs and how to enroll in them. The primary feature of the portal will be a “decision tree” process that a student uses to identify an online program of interest. The student will provide contact information that is routed to the relevant campus, which sends an automated e-mail and program description response. The student will deal directly with the campus for admission and other issues. The portal will provide general information about UNC campuses and online programs as well as some content targeted to specific audiences such as military personnel and community college students…. The portal could also provide some centralized services…. There is no guarantee that any suggested services will be offered, and any portal features will depend on campus priorities and available resources.”

Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, charged a Distance Education Task Force to examine distance education/online instruction at UNC- Chapel Hill and to consider how this campus can contribute optimally to the online portal (Task Force membership in Appendix A). We met with James Sadler, PhD, Associate Vice-President for Academic Planning, UNC and Ms. Kay Zimmerman, Associate Vice-Provost for Marketing & Partnership Development, Distance Education & Learning Technology Applications (DELTA), North Carolina State University, so they could communicate their vision of the portal.

In this report, we provide a context within which to assess the role of online learning and distance education, articulate several key principles for DE at UNC-Chapel Hill, and offer recommendations about DE and the University of North Carolina Online portal.

UNC-Chapel Hill is committed to “provide the strongest possible academic experience for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students” (Academic Plan, 2003). The University’s philosophy of teaching and learning as an engaged enterprise between faculty members and students drives how we view all instruction, including that delivered online. Task Force members re-affirm the educational vision of shared engagement in teaching and learning, commitment to the highest academic standards, provision of educational opportunities appropriate for learners at particular stages of their development and educational outreach and service to the people of North Carolina.

The plan of UNC General Administration (GA) to make available online learning opportunities for students within and beyond North Carolina as part of the web portal presents an opportunity for our campus to enhance and expand access to its educational programs that serve off-campus graduate and professional students. On- campus instruction can benefit, too, from continued development and refinement of information technologies that enhance teaching and learning, whether for classes delivered on campus, for those designed for distance education formats or for hybrid programs that combine distance education and in-person teaching and learning. Moreover, we can contribute to the overall efforts of the UNC system to expand educational access.

Distance Education and Online Learning Principles

  • Distance education sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill is most appropriate for students who seek graduate or professional licensure, certificate and degree programs. Although our College of Arts and Sciences does not foresee offering degree programs through distance education, we recognize that offering professional undergraduate degrees (e.g., the BSN) and individual undergraduate courses is of value and consistent with the public service mission of the
  • Distance education is likely to be most effective when it includes regular interactions with instructors and is enhanced by opportunities for face-to-face instruction. For these and other reasons, distance education is not the optimal way to educate traditional UNC-Chapel Hill
  • While distance education and online instruction can be effective at the level of both individual DE courses and degree/certificate/licensure programs, UNC- Chapel Hill has substantial strength in and should emphasize the
  • Distance education and online instruction faculty characteristics should parallel similar programs on campus. Faculty should not be segmented by their instructional
  • Distance education and online instruction evolution should be related to campus instructional and pedagogical innovations. Investment in program development and updating, delivery and evaluation are necessary if DE programs are to be state-of-the-art and sustainable.
  • Creation of online instruction is enhanced by open-source instructional technology development.
  • Distance education and online instruction programs offer research opportunities on the best methods to develop, deliver, and assess learning outcomes across a wide array of hybrid and multi-dimensional delivery

Distance Education/Online Learning Defined2

Distance education uses information technologies for teaching and learning independent of location or context. It occupies one end of a continuum of instructional approaches characterized by strong reliance on information systems and communications technologies to support faculty- student interactions. Now and in the future, there will be many possible learning modalities that could be enhanced by technology and offer a rich set of hybrid approaches. (For example, see the article “Prescription for a Revolution,” about a new School of Pharmacy collaboration with Elizabeth City, in the Carolina Alumni Review[Brown, D., 2007].) As we envision teaching 20 years hence, it is likely to be even more technology-rich than it is today. The most effective educational methods involve opportunities for faculty and students to engage directly in inquiry processes rather than being dependent upon packaged online instruction with no teacher-to- student or student-to-student interactions. When delivered optimally, distance education facilitates exploration and adoption of pedagogies that emphasize inquiry, discovery, and project-based learning. It enhances collaborative learning and teaching across the campus and around the world by using the best available information technology for knowledge management, experiential learning, interactive communication, and person-to-person engagement.

UNC-Chapel Hill employs a wide variety of teaching and learning modalities in its current DE programs, and some elements of these strategies are incorporated into in-person instruction as well. These include but are not limited to the following.

  • Web pages of text and graphics
  • Narrated slides for presentations
  • Interactive online applications
  • Electronic reserves for library materials
  • Email and text messaging
  • Discussion forums
  • Electronic whiteboards
  • Online chats
  • Web conferencing (faculty-to-students and student-to-student)
  • Use of Breeze/Adobe Connect and other technologies to permit online instruction for some students simultaneously with in-person instruction for other students

Student Populations

Our students come from different demographic groups and circumstances, with varied histories, skills, educational needs and goals. The execution of our campus mission reflects that diversity. We view UNC-Chapel Hill educational programs and the students they serve within three broad categories.

  1. Primary—These include undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs serving students on campus.
  2. Secondary—These are graduate and professional licensure, certificate and degree programs serving students off-campus, typically using distance education/online learning technologies. Many are non-traditional students who return to higher education for advanced training and degrees to help fulfill their professional careers.
  3. Tertiary—These are students seeking academic credit courses, usually at the undergraduate level, and non-academic credit continuing education courses. The former are not part of degree programs, but students may be permitted to accrue academic credit towards degrees using DE courses—either as regular four-year undergraduates or in 2 Plus 2 degree completion programs. Continuing education students often are adult learners, many of whom have established careers and seek specific professional skill development or academic enrichment.

UNC-Chapel Hill serves all three student segments but emphasizes the primarygroup as the one we serve most comprehensively. That focus will continue as the campus expands its on-campus student enrollment to nearly 30,000 students by 2015. Our resources must be deployed appropriately to meet the needs of this growing student body. Nevertheless, the number of students enrolled in secondary programs has grown substantially over the past decade as the campus developed DE programs to respond to demonstrated needs. Programs serving the tertiary segment, through the Friday Center’s Carolina Courses Online and Self-Paced Courses programs, and continuing education programs through the School of Government and the North Carolina Institute for Public Health also have grown dramatically. The overall growth of online courses for academic credit is consistent with national trends. Nationally, about 3.2 million undergraduate students report having taken one or more courses online. Substantial future growth in this area is predicted. (Allen, IE, 2005).

Current DE Programs

UNC-Chapel Hill is a strong provider of distance education and offers a wide variety of graduate and professional distance education licensure, certificate, and degree programs to students across the state, the U.S., and around the world. The following table summarizes current programs (details in Appendix B).

UnitNumber of ProgramsDegree/ Certificate/ Licensure2005-06 Student Head Count
Allied Health Sciences2Certificate and DPT47
Education2Post-baccalaureate licensure in science and math education; and post-baccalaureate add-on licensure in literacy (reading).36
Journalism and Mass Communication1Certificate86
Nursing3BSN, MSN, and Post-MSN certificate94
Public Health7Certificate, MPH, MHA, DrPH958

Is Distance Education Effective?

Educators and others frequently ask whether DE is as effective as traditional instruction. Most research to date has focused on variations of online instruction in non-controlled settings or has compared traditional instruction vs. older models of DE, e.g. computerized instruction without in-person components. As we have noted, the future is likely to be one in which hybrid models are the most attractive. In the meantime, we are dependent on the state-of-the-literature at the present. Dr. Thomas Russell of NC State University published a compilation of 355 studies that examined alternative methods to in-person instruction going back to the early 1900s in his book The No Significant Difference Phenomenon: A Comparative Research Annotated Bibliography on Technology for Distance Education(Russell, 2001). Russell found that the vast majority of studies showed that when course materials and teaching approaches were held constant, there were no significant differences between student outcomes in distance delivery courses compared to face-to-face courses. When content was adapted to technologies, more often than not, student achievement improved compared to face-to-face settings. These findings mirror results of a number of well-conducted studies undertaken to assess School of Public Health distance education programs and emerging data from the School of Pharmacy’s new venture with Elizabeth City. These investigations have found online courses equivalent to residential master’s programs aimed at experienced professionals (Umble, K, 2000) and have garnered positive student responses (Davis, MV, 2006).

Perhaps, the more appropriate questions are about which students benefit from what kinds of online instruction experiences. Do some students particularly benefit from DE? Conversely, are there students who do not benefit or could be harmed? Are there subjects or areas of study that do not lend themselves to DE? Are hybrid models of instruction preferable to online learning without in-person instruction? Evaluations conducted by the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health show that online learning meets the needs of working professionals partly because of lifestyle issues, but also because their prior professional identity supports their leveraging that learning (Cannon, M, 2001). Moreover, graduates may experience professional benefits from participating in these programs (Davis, MV, 2004).

University of North Carolina Online Portal and Initiative

Creating a portal that facilitates distance education across the UNC system comes with benefits and challenges. Initially, the effort will consist of a web portal that features distance education programs(that is, integrated learning opportunities comprised of multiple courses rather than individual courses) across all campuses in the UNC system.

As a marketing tool, the portal can provide a number of benefits. It will feature profiles of students admitted to DE programs, so prospective students can determine the potential match between themselves and these programs. Campus distance education programs have found such profiles to be powerful recruiting tools. The portal also will provide data on potential students as they register for information and indicate their interests. Because the portal is a website, it can offer useful data for planning and evaluation (e.g., number of unique visitors, programs examined, traffic pathways through the site, search criteria used, general location of visitors) that can help us understand how people find the portal and provide contextual tips on their search and navigation through the site. Such a “database of intentions” (Battelle, 2005) can become a rich resource of information on why people seek these programs—essential to success in marketing distance education and planning next-generation programs.

The portal can provide standard online and printable marketing materials for online programs with input and approval of specific content from individual programs. This approach is consistent with the principle that each campus should have the opportunity to review marketing materials that include its programs. We recognize that for this approach to work efficiently and effectively, a UNC-Chapel Hill representative should be designated to speak for the campus. We recommend that Dr. Carol Tresolini, Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives, be appointed to serve this function. Acting on behalf of UNC-Chapel Hill, she welcomes the opportunity to be included in planning, implementation and evaluation for the portal since it is difficult to separate marketing and communications from other efforts. As we understand it, the principles we have articulated are consistent with plans for the portal.

Remaining to be discussed are the following issues mentioned by GA representatives: inter- institutional course-sharing, development of policies to govern determination of “home campus” for each student, and alignment of campuses’ information systems to allow them to talk with one another regarding registration, billing, financial aid, and grade-reporting. The nature of these issues suggests that GA’s vision for the portal may involve more extensive inter-institutional collaboration than has been discussed to date. There also are several other issues that should be discussed (see Recommendations).

GA has emphasized that admission decisions and control of curricula will remain local to each campus. We applaud this approach and agree that each university within the UNC system should determine who is to be admitted to its programs and which students are eligible to take its DE courses as well as how many credits can be taken in distance education formats. (A separate report from the College of Arts and Sciences proposes new guidelines for enrollment of their students in the Friday Center’s online programs.)

As the portal is developed, it will be important to assure that it works seamlessly for students seeking our online licensure, degree and certificate programs. For example, decisions about software have important implications for the seamlessness with which the portal can be used across the UNC system and also for costs associated with DE programs, especially if schools with DE programs must invest in conversion to new software.

From a strategic perspective, we recommend that the role of UNC-Chapel Hill be focused, at least initially, on students in professional programs. In professional schools, where students are being prepared for specific careers, DE programs, even at the undergraduate level, can reach high-need communities. The portal can assist our campus in growing programs customized to the special needs and requirements of these students. Our programs can benefit from broader access to potential students worldwide. Consistent with plans articulated by GA, it is essential that we continue to admit students with the highest academic qualifications and potential, using the same standards for admission and graduation as our residential programs. Finally, we must carefully manage enrollment growth to ensure adequate faculty, administrative and technologic infrastructure and student support.

The portal effort to address educational needs of undergraduate students for degree completion programs is laudable. Nevertheless, the UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate experience involves the interaction between faculty and students in a community of learning. Immersion in the campus context is important for undergraduate students to enhance their knowledge and skills for learning at a critical time in their lives. Finally, having been recently re-accredited by SACS, we would be reluctant to manifest major shifts in our academic focus.


The Task Force recommends several steps to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in online instruction. While addressing these issues might seem beyond the purview of our committee, if the UNC system wishes to encourage development of new online programs, resources must be provided to develop and sustain such programs. Because standards for the quality of DE are rising, entry costs may be prohibitive if each school within the University or, indeed the UNC system, builds its own infrastructure for online instruction. Successful programs also require regular updating, a process that can incur significant costs when distance education methods are used.

Expand graduate and professional distance education opportunities to provide greater educational access for mid-career students—Developing new and expanded programs using state-of-the-art techniques will help fulfill UNC-Chapel Hill’s educational mission by expanding access to a wider set of students. In professional schools where students are being prepared for specific careers, DE programs at the undergraduate level can reach targeted, high-need communities.

Encourage the most effective models of online instruction—These models are likely to use hybrid courses in seamless classrooms. Enhanced video and audio telecommunications infrastructure, both nationally and worldwide, offers an opportunity to bring synchronous instruction to students on and off campus. The University could reduce the distance between off- campus and on-campus students by bringing distance education students into classrooms for selected programs. (Pharmacy and Public Health have been developing these hybrid approaches.) The mixture of such groups could be fruitful as students with significant professional experiences encounter students in our residential programs. Such a seamless classroom approach can close the gap in distance and time and thus may be especially important in global education. The expansion of hybrid models could permit UNC-Chapel Hill to serve as a laboratory for the most promising distance education approaches. Those that prove effective could be offered through the University of North Carolina Online portal. For this to occur, resources for development, implementation and evaluation must be available.

Invest in core resources to support distance education—Provision of various core resources could help the University achieve economies of scale in DE. Such core resources could include support for course management systems, multimedia kitchens, instructional designers, student support services, telecommunications, and interactive technologies. The biomedical sciences have shown that judicious use of core resources to deliver services, such as genetic sequencing, can enhance quality, increase access, and reduce duplicative investments. A similar practice of investment in core resources that could serve many potential users across the campus could be applied to investments in online instruction.

Develop and use evaluation protocols and services—Rigorous evaluation programs to assess quality of all curricula, whether delivered face-to-face, using distance education, or combinations of these, are essential. The campus should continue to apply standard, validated approaches to assess the quality of Carolina programs, irrespective of mode of delivery.

Funding model—Creation of new DE programs requires substantial effort and funding. As students become more sophisticated in their use of various technologies and their expectations about the quality of graphics, animation, and other learning devices increase, the cost of development will increase as well. Funding models for DE at UNC-Chapel Hill should be scrutinized to assure that innovations in DE can be developed, and that successful programs can be maintained.

Participate in the open-source community—Open source should be an underlying principle for our distance education efforts. UNC-Chapel Hill is a strong participant in the open-source movement through Computer Science, SILS, and iBiblio, but we have not participated in the open-source distance education community to share technologies (e.g., Sakai, Moodle). Education is the very core of our mission, and the context of online instruction calls on us to participate in the direct development of technologies that serve teaching and learning. The definition of features and functions of our learning technologies should be controlled by our campus and its peer institutions. The open-source approach offers a method for our participation in that process. We are encouraged that GA has expressed strong interest in assisting campuses to investigate open-source and open-platform instructional technologies.

Confirm principles for distance education initiatives at UNC-Chapel Hill—As GA has articulated, each university in the UNC system will retain autonomy with regard to standard- setting for its campus. This includes determining who is eligible for admission to degree, licensure and certificate programs, what requirements must be met for particular programs and degrees, who is eligible to teach and what standards are held regarding quality. Related to autonomy is our wish to review UNC-Chapel Hill materials that are being used to promote University of North Carolina Online or other educational programs to assure that they are consistent with our mission and practices. A representative who can speak on behalf of UNC- Chapel Hill should be an integral part of planning, implementing and evaluating the portal.


Technologic advances that enhance teaching and learning offer UNC-Chapel Hill new opportunities on campus and beyond. The initiative of GA to bring system-wide resources and focus to serve a wider array of students through the University of North Carolina Online portal will help North Carolina meet 21st-century challenges. Our campus will continue to work with its sister institutions to honor its commitment to the state and nation to educate students at all collegiate levels. Innovations in teaching and learning are essential to being one of the very best universities anywhere, and we are committed to developing, applying and evaluating distance education innovations. We must do so in ways that are consistent with our mission. We look forward to working with GA to develop approaches that will enhance teaching and learning for all our students no matter their place or circumstances.


Allen, IE, Seaman, J. Making the Grade: Online Education in the United States, 2006. The Sloan Consortium, 2006.

Brown, D, Prescription for a Revolution. Carolina Alumni Review. Jan/Feb 2007:96(1) 18-28.

Battelle, J, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. Penguin, 2005.

Cannon M, Umble K.E, Steckler A, Shay S. “We’re living what we’re learning”: Student perspectives in distance learning degree and certificate programs in public health. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.2001:7(1), 49-59.

Davis MV, Fernandez CP, Porter J, McMullin K. UNC Certificate in core public health concepts: Lessons learned. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.2006:12(3):288-295.

Davis MV, Sollecito WA, Shay S, Williamson W. Examining the Impact of a Distance Education MPH Program – A One-Year Follow-Up Survey of Graduates. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.2004:10(6): 556-563.

Russell, T. The No Significant Difference Phenomenon: A Comparative Research Annotated Bibliography on Technology for Distance Education, 5th edition. IDECC, 2001.

Sadler, J. The University of North Carolina Online Initiative. Informal memorandum. December 2006.

Umble K, Cervero RM, Yang B, Atkinson W. The effects of traditional classroom and distance continuing education in vaccine-preventable diseases: A theory-driven evaluation. American Journal of Public Health, 2000:90(8), 1218-1224.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Academic Plan. July 2003. Available at

Other Relevant Resources

Bates AW, Poole G. Effective Teaching with Technology in Higher Education: Foundations for Success(The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series). Jossey-Bass; 1st edition. August 15, 2003.

Bloom, B. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Susan Fauer Company, Inc. 1956.

Hannon PA, Umble KE, Alexander L, Francisco D, Steckler A, Tudor G, Upshaw V. Gagne and Laurillard’s models of instruction applied to distance education: A theoretically driven evaluation of an online curriculum in public health. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning.October 2002:3(2).

Knebel E. The use and effect of distance education in healthcare: What do we know? Operations Research Issue Paper 2001:2(2). Bethesda, MD: Published for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by the Quality Assurance Project.

Appendix A: Membership Distance Education Task Force

Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, Chair

  • Dean, School of Public Health Alumni Distinguished Professor
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CB 7400
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7400 phone: 919-966-3215
  • fax: 919-966-7678
  • email:

Robert A. Blouin, PharmD

  • Dean, School of Pharmacy
  • The University of North Carolina 100C Beard Hall, CB #7360
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7360 phone: 919-966-1122
  • fax: 919-966-6919
  • email:

Beverly B. Foster, PhD, RN

  • Director, Undergraduate Program School of Nursing, CB#7460 Carrington Hall
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7460 Phone: 919-966-4995
  • Fax: 919-843-6212
  • email:

Thomas James, PhD

  • Dean, School of Education 101 Peabody Hall, CB #3500
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3500 Phone: 919-966-1356
  • Fax: 919-962-2563
  • email:

Madeline G. Levine, PhD

  • Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Kenan Professor, Slavic Languages
  • 205 South Building, CB #3100 The University of North Carolina
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3100 Phone: 919-843-4535
  • Fax: 919-962-2408
  • email:

Norman Loewenthal, MEd

  • Director, The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CB 1020
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-1020 phone 919-962-2646
  • fax 919-962-2061

James L. Murphy, PhD

  • Dean, Summer School Professor of Economics
  • 134 E. Franklin Street, Room 200
  • CB #3340
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3340
  • phone: 919-966-4364
  • fax: 919-962-2752
  • email:

Carol Tresolini, PhD

  • Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives 104 South Building
  • CB #3000
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3000 phone: 962-3907
  • fax: 962-1593
  • email:

David D. Potenziani, PhD (Special Member)

  • Director, Instructional and Information Systems CB #7400, 207 Rosenau Hall
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7400
  • phone: 919-966-9761
  • fax: 919-966-7141
  • email:

Appendix B: Distance Education Programs That Offer Academic Credentials to Off- Campus Students

School/Dept/UnitProgram NameAcademic CredentialDelivery2005-06 Student Head Count
Allied Health SciencesMolecular Diagnostic ScienceCertificateOnline16
Allied Health SciencesDoctoral Program in Physical TherapyDPTOnline31
 EducationReading Add-On Licensure Online (Post- baccalaureate)Teaching Licensure (post-baccalaureate non-degree ) Online32
EducationCarolina Online Lateral Entry (COLE)Post-baccalaureate non-degreeOnline4 in pilot phase in 2005-06
Journalism and Mass CommunicationCertificate in Technology and CommunicationCertificateOnline86
NursingRN/BSN ProgramBSNOnline28
NursingPsychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner ProgramMSN and Post- MSN certificateHybrid27
NursingHealth Care Systems Master’s in NursingMSN and Post- MSN certificateHybrid39
Public HealthCertificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster ManagementCertificateOnline83
Public HealthCertificate in Core Public Health ConceptsCertificateOnline345
Public HealthCertificate in Field EpidemiologyCertificateOnline149
Public HealthCertificate in Public Health LeadershipCertificateOnline11
Public HealthPH Leadership ProgramMPHOnline91
Public HealthExecutive MastersMPH and MHAOnline260
Public HealthDoctoral Program in Health LeadershipDrPHOnline19

The programs of the Friday Center are not included because they do not confer academic credentials. The following table provides their current programs and student head count:

Program NameDelivery Mechanism2005-06 Student HC
Carolina Courses OnlineOnline3517
Self-Paced CoursesOnline & Correspondence2185

1 Programs in the professional schools (Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy, Education, Social Work, and Allied Health) serve specific student populations at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

2 The most commonly used term in this context is “distance education.” The UNC system, in Administrative Memo 407, states that distance education “is understood to include off-campus instruction for credit (whether face-to-face, electronically mediated, or a combination of methodologies).”