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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

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UT System's TeleCampus Offers State's First Online Nursing Ph.D.

AUSTIN – The University of Texas TeleCampus today announced its first online doctoral program – in nursing – which also is the first in the state. The online program, approved last fall by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, is set to launch in Fall 2008.  

The nursing Ph.D. program would require prospective students to enroll at UT Tyler, the campus at which the program is based.

“The UT TeleCampus has been helping UT institutions deliver online education for 10 years and this reflects a growing demand to expand our online presence – something the TeleCampus is committed to doing,” said Darcy Hardy, UT System’s assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and executive director of the UT TeleCampus.

The UT TeleCampus works with all 15 UT System institutions to build and deliver high-quality collaborative online courses, degree programs and support services.  UT TeleCampus facilitates the delivery of more than 20 online academic programs offering dozens of degree and certificate options, as well as professional development courses.

“The UT System has long recognized the need for more nursing educators in our state. It’s appropriate that this program – focusing on the delivery of health care within the context of culture and community – allows the students to study from the cities and towns in which they live and work across the state,” said Dr. Kenneth I. Shine, the UT System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs. “We expect rich discussion, interactions and educational outcomes from this program that will ultimately benefit the overall health of Texas in the years ahead.”

While the initial focus of the UT TeleCampus was on academic programs, in the last few years it has expanded to include offerings in allied health and medical research fields.

UT El Paso offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing, graduate nursing certificate courses and a master’s nursing program online via the UT TeleCampus. Other UT TeleCampus online programs include a bachelor’s of Applied Technology in health services technology (UT Brownsville); IMPRINTS, an early childhood intervention program for physical therapists (UTMB Galveston); and a bachelor’s completion program in dental hygiene (UT Health Science Center at Houston).

The UT TeleCampus course catalog (academic credit courses) and professional development online catalog (non-credit courses) list nearly 30 non-program courses in various health-related fields ranging from blood bank technology to Spanish for healthcare workers.

Students apply to and graduate from the university offering the specific program of interest. Programs have the same admission criteria as their on-site equivalent and are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Students are provided with extensive support services, including 24-hour help desk and digital library resources.

The UT TeleCampus was launched in May 1998 and has facilitated the delivery of courses to more than 60,000 academic student enrollments since starting its first classes in Fall 1999.

About The University of Texas System
The UT System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $10.7 billion (FY 2008) including $2.3 billion in research funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 190,000 in the 2006 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 80,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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