Distance Learning Center earns UW System Board of Regents honor

July 3, 2013

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DLC staff

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Distance Learning Center is one of three recipients of the UW System Board of Regents Academic Staff Awards for Excellence.

“As we celebrate 35 years of providing rigorous programs, flexible completion schedules and service to non-traditional students, I commend the staff of the DLC for their hard work and dedication,” said Dennis J. Shields, chancellor of UW-Platteville. “Their efforts allow students the opportunity to pursue and attain career opportunities that ultimately strengthen our local, regional, state, national and global economy.”

Led by Dawn Drake, executive director, and Dan Avenarius, director, the UW-Platteville DLC – more commonly known as UW-Platteville Online – focuses on creating degree programs and services at the graduate and undergraduate level to meet the needs of non-traditional, place-bound students – typically working adults with families. Students can apply for admission, apply for financial aid, register and pay for classes, order textbooks, access library resources, receive grades, and much more, all online.

“We are both proud and humbled to be accepting this award from the Board of Regents,” said Drake. “Our focus, since inception of the department, is to identify the best way to serve the educational needs of students in non-traditional situations. This means putting a lot of effort into developing the programs that students want, identifying appropriate student services to help them be successful, and designing courses that are rigorous. Most importantly, we are constantly obtaining feedback from students about all of these items, so we can continually improve our programs and services.”

Interest in the Distance Learning Center’s offerings has boomed. In 2000-01, it logged 185 course registrations; in 2011-12, there were 2,900. UW-Platteville’s “one-stop-shop” approach to online programs is considered a model for distance education programs nationally. UW-Platteville, a pioneer in distance education for 35 years, provides eight degrees entirely online: master’s degrees in organizational change leadership, project management, criminal justice, engineering, distance education leadership and integrated supply chain management, and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and criminal justice.

“Everyone working in the Distance Learning Center knows that our focus is to support students and faculty involved in distance education and we take that mission very seriously,” said Drake. “We've got a great group of employees who are constantly striving to do their jobs in the best way possible to serve our various constituents.”

Susan Greene, institutional planner, Office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality at UW-Stout, along with Freda Briscoe, director of Minority Business and Minority Teacher Preparation programs at UW-Whitewater, were also selected for the award.

“These award-winners reflect the high caliber and dedication of our academic staff system-wide,” said Regent Mark Tyler, chair of the selection committee. “Their commitment to academic quality and student success is inspiring, and we are honored to recognize their wide-ranging and significant accomplishments on behalf of our students and campus communities.”

In addition to Tyler, award committee members included Regent Tim Higgins, Student Regent Tracy Hribar and Regent Gerald Whitburn.

The winners will be honored during the Board of Regents meeting on July 11 in Madison, Wis. Each winner will receive a $5,000 award for professional development to enhance their program or function. Academic staff members and programs from each of the UW institutions were nominated for this year’s awards.

More than 1,200 students have graduated from UW-Platteville Distance Education programs. The Distance Learning Center has served students from all 72 counties in Wisconsin, all 50 states, and 42 countries. Its online, “one-stop shop” approach to meet the needs of online students serves as a model throughout the nation.

Contact: Dawn Drake, UW-Platteville Continuing Education, (608) 342-1020, drake@uwplatt.edu

Formatted by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, wackersd@uwplatt.edu

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