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The Arizona Board of Regents will get its first look at what may the beginnings of an online university when it meets in Flagstaff on Friday.
The proposed Arizona Regents University is a coordinated initiative of the three state universities to offer technology-delivered education through the Internet.
What regents will see is a web site http://AzDistanceLearning.org, that will provide students with access to all distance courses offered within the system to students regardless of where they may be.
The three universities through the Internet or other technology now offer several hundred courses. According to materials supplied to the regents, students will be able to register for fall 2000 courses.
Plans during the next fiscal year are to market the web site, the current courses and degree programs and evaluate the demand for programs and requirements for admission and degrees. The operating costs are estimated at $475,000 per year. The total first year budget is pegged at $2 million.
The Governor's Task Force on Higher Education, appointed by Gov. Hull last fall to advise her on the future direction for community colleges and universities in Arizona, has been enthusiastic about implementing technology-based learning for the state.
Arizona's community colleges are working on a complementary distance learning initiative called Arizona Learning Systems (ALS) that would upgrade its current investment in videoconferencing and Internet service while adding additional sites to the network.