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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Does Hillary Clinton’s Higher Education Plan Question the Integrity of Online Learning?

"One line in the presidential candidate’s ambitious plan draws criticism from online educator." according to Kevin Walker, U.S. News University Directory Managing Editor.

Photo: U.S. News University

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s $350 billion plan to make higher education more affordable has drawn fire from some critics, particularly the plan’s comment on online education.

“We must bring integrity to online learning and will not tolerate programs that fall short,” the plan, published on the Clinton campaign website and distributed to media, said. Clinton's plan aims to lessen the debt burden of a college education.

While it may be no more than a tempest in the campaign teapot, the comment irked those in the distance education field. The line made it seem not just that online education had lost its way, but that it “never had” any integrity, according to Inside Higher Education. Experts pointed out that many "traditional" universities now offer degree programs online.

“I did not realize I worked in a field devoid of integrity,” Russell Poulin, director of policy and analysis for WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), told Inside Higher Education.  “If they are not equating online learning with for-profit colleges, then I'm at a loss as to why they would want to throw a whole industry under the bus.”

The line was picked up on by other media outlets, including a commentary in Forbes by Excelsior College president John Ebersole. He wrote that “ online learning is embedded into the American higher education experience because it works.”
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Source: U.S. News University


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