January 15, 1999
"VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY" BECOMES REALITY AS
FROM BELL ATLANTIC
CLAIM THEIR NJIT MASTERS DEGREE -
WITHOUT EVER STEPPING FOOT ON CAMPUS
NEWARK - January 15, 1999 -
Twenty-one employees of Bell Atlantic Network Services Inc. just earned their masters degree at New Jersey Institute of Technology - without ever having to step foot on campus.
This group of professionals, based in offices in Silver Spring, Maryland and Freehold, New Jersey, are more than just the most recent addition to NJIT's long list of success stories in distance learning. They're living examples of "New Jersey Virtual University," a new effort by Gov. Christie Whitman to maximize use of distance learning programs offered by New Jersey's public colleges and universities.
Under a 1995 contract with Bell Atlantic, NJIT began providing twice-weekly instruction to Bell Atlantic employees in the summer of 1996. Students earned 45 credits in a 15-course program that focused on information management.
Students in Newark sat in a specially equipped two-way audio/video classroom, with an NJIT Professor who delivered the lecture. Bell Atlantic employees in Maryland and Central New Jersey watched and commented via state-of-the-art interactive technology (ITV).
After three years of hard work, those professionals have now earned their Master of Science degree in management.
"Many institutions talk a great deal about technology, but NJIT practices what it preaches," said Keith Kidd, Director of Testing and Integration for Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions and one of today's graduating class. "My thanks to Bell Atlantic for recognizing the need and supporting the program, and kudos to NJIT for supplying an up-to-date management curriculum designed for our specific requirements, and backing it up with the dedicated staff and supporting technology to make the program a success."
Dr. Fenster, President of NJIT, said this program - and others like it - point toward the future for higher education. They foster the kind of knowledge that drives our new economy, allow our working professionals to avail themselves of that knowledge, and form the building blocks of Whitman's "virtual university."
"This is an example of "virtual" education in its best form," Fenster said. "Due to the richness of our interactive technology, our on-line programs have all the richness of our campus classroom instruction."
"NJIT is New Jersey's leading institution in distance learning," Fenster added. "We intend to expand this mode of service to working professionals, as well as to others who find it convenient to pursue their education in this way."
The university, which is a statewide leader in extension sites, curently offers courses leading to graduate certificates and degrees at several corporations and at Drew University, William Paterson University, Ramapo College, NJIT at Mt. Laurel, Raritan Valley Community College, Mercer County College, and the New Jersey Departments of Environmental Protection and Transporation.
NJIT is a public research university enrolling nearly 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students in 76 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering, School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation, computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and science, and architecture and building science.
Yahoo! Internet Life magazine ranked NJIT the second "most wired" campus in the nation, U.S. News and World Report's 1999 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT among the nation's top universities, and Money magazine's Best College Buys 1998 rated NJIT as the sixth best value among U.S. science and technology schools and among the top 100 overall.