Maryland officials and school administrators are beginning to see the benefits of pursuing an online education. In fact, State Sen. Christopher B. Shank tried to pass a bill in early 2012 requesting the creation of a council to implement more online educational programs. While most state technology-based initiatives like the Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities program are tailored to fit the needs of primary and secondary learners, they can still help prepare students to adapt to technology in higher education and the workplace.
Higher Learning Initiatives
Tech-Centric Community College Initiative
There’s no “official” name of this particular initiative, but in an effort to compensate for higher enrollment and the lack of space, community colleges around the state (especially Howard Community College) are starting to supplement traditional coursework with live streaming and recorded simulations that can be viewed at home or in tech labs on campus. This hybrid coursework can cut a student’s commute time as well as give them more time to study or take care of other obligations.
Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities Program
The Maryland Virtual Learning Opportunities (MVLO) is a state-led initiative that offers online courses to students in grades 6-12. MVLO, which was established in 2002, involves three programs: the Maryland Virtual School, the High School Assessments (HSA) program, and Online Professional Development (a training course for educators).The MVLO was designed to expand the access of public education to students across the state as well as give students to option of making up classes in their spare time so they can graduate on time. This particular program can help transition students who want to pursue higher education online coursework with ease.
Maryland Online (MOL) is a statewide inter-segmental consortium of public and private accredited higher education institutions that share a similar goal: promoting distance education. MOL helps facilitate student- access to online programs as well as helps institutions find resources to help expand their online programs. It also helps online instructors find employment opportunities. MOL was founded in 1999 with 12 charter member institutions. It currently has 20 member institutions, including the University of Maryland University College. Membership is open to all accredited and licensed higher education institutions.