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Cable-Television Network Offers Its 1st Education-Degree Program

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Mind Extension University, a five-year-old cable channel that describes itself as "the education network,'' has launched its first education-degree program.

The 36-credit-hour program, which is being offered through the school of education and human development at the George Washington University in Washington, leads to a master of arts degree in educational-technology leadership.

The Colorado-based cable network, which provides round-the-clock telecourses, also offers secondary-education courses, high-school equivalency-test preparation, a bachelor's-degree program, and a master of business administration degree. The network is available on cable in 18 million U.S. households.

William Lynch, the director of the program at George Washington, said the educational-technology program is designed for teachers and other professionals who do not have the time, or who are otherwise unable, to attend a regular college campus.

"This is an entire master's-degree program delivered via telecommunications,'' Mr. Lynch said.

The courses are designed to help educators learn how to best integrate computers, videodisks, and other new technologies into the classroom. It also has a focus on educational leadership, including a required course in public-education policymaking.

"There are a lot of educational-technology programs,'' Mr. Lynch said, "but we wanted to focus on people who are in a position to bring about change.''
Two-Year Program

Like most telecourses on Mind Extension and elsewhere, the principal instruction comes via televised lectures, which students receive either on cable or by satellite.

Mr. Lynch said the educational-technology program is more interactive than most telecourses because it offers a toll-free telephone line for live questions. Students who tape the course lectures can ask questions of instructors by fax machine or electronic mail.

Homework assignments are mailed to instructors.

"We've arranged the schedule so that, if a student takes two courses per term, with our three terms per year, they can complete the degree in two entire years,'' Mr. Lynch said.

Tuition is $594 per course, considerably less than George Washington's normal tuition.

The next courses in the degree program will be offered during the summer term. Applicants must meet George Washington's graduate-degree requirements.

Those interested in applying should call Mind Extension University at (800) 777-MIND.

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