Distance Education for Teacher Preparation in Rural Arizona

Support Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural America
Research Year: 
2005
Issue: 

Across the country, post-secondary agricultural education programs are dealing with meeting university minimum enrollment standards, a shortage of secondary school agriculture teachers, and teachers needing resources and technical assistance that will take them into the 21st century. Teachers in remote areas still need to keep up with the demands and standards of the profession but often cannot attend professional development classes in person.

Description of Action: 

A regular classroom was retrofitted to deliver distance education workshops to career and technical education teachers and students across the state. The instructor can capture classroom participation, e-mail, Internet, multimedia, video and 3-D image display. Using the system, one instructor can capture a class at the university, and produce a high quality video that can then be sent directly to off-site participants or accessed on the Internet. Currently seven courses are offered through this process.

Impact: 

The program is reaching a record number of career and technical education undergraduate and graduate students. So far, 185 clients who otherwise would not have been able to continue their education have completed distance education courses over the past few years. The ultimate impact of the program is that educational standards for excellence in teacher and professional education can be met even in rural areas that do not have traditional university facilities.

"This technology enabled me to complete my degree without traveling 230 miles or paying the added expense. I was able to see the professor on video, and could still interact and ask questions by email." –Agricultural education teacher at Cibola High School, Arizona

Funding Agencies: 

Arizona Department of Education; University of Arizona Center for Computer and Information Technology; University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; UA Department of Agricultural Education—Faculty Salaries

Conact Name: 
Jack Elliot
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

PO Box 210036

The University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ 85721-0036

Telephone: (520) 621-7173 FAX: (520) 621-9889