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Module 2:
What important topics should Distance Education Coordinators know about?





Topic C: Identifying Distance Education Costs





In this module, you will learn what issues are important when researching funding sources, creating a budget and identifying costs of a Distance Education program.








There are a number of issues to consider when allocating funds or looking for possible funding mechanisms for distance education programs. Although the great majority of California community colleges have developed, or are developing distance education programs, many have found it difficult to do so within their financial resources. The cost structure for developing and sustaining a distance education program is different than for on-campus course offerings. Distance education programs may require less expenditure for construction and building maintenance, but greater funding for campus information technology infrastructure improvements.

In addition, there are expenses related to course design and delivery, faculty development and student support services. These expenses for on-campus courses may be included in Departmental, Divisional or Student Services budgets. However, many community colleges develop fairly extensive distance education course offerings without completing the necessary planning and budgeting needed to extend these resources and services to meet the needs of distance learning faculty and students. Many institutions have failed to accurately determine both the costs and cost efficiencies of such programs.

Despite the growing significance of technology as both a primary mode of educational delivery and a vital enhancement to traditional classes, educational technology funding has not adequately improved to meet this change. The increased reliance on technology means dedicated funding and reliable methods for determining costs, cost containment and identifying supplemental sources of funding.

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