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PICTURE THE DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENT, ALONE IN A room, bathed by the glow of a computer screen. During the fall 2006 term, nearly 3.5 million students took at least one online course, according to the 2007 Sloan Consortium report "Online Nation: Five Years of Growth in Online Learning." Although students did so because they wanted an education, that desire alone might not carry them to completion. As online courses grow in popularity, providers are starting to take steps to ensure student persistence.

Web 2.0 is allowing higher education to expand the ways in which online information is made available to students, faculty and website visitors. College students today are more tech-savvy than ever and demand information access anywhere, any time.

And, while your teaching staff may not revise an exam based on students' demands, the way in which students expect information to be delivered digitally and online is just one challenge universities will have to give in on. And why not?

From past applicants and alumni, to current students and faculty, academic institutions store an ever-growing database of personal information, making them a prime target for identity thieves. This wealth of data also signifies the growing constituency to Identity theft and data security breaches pose serious threats to which they are accountable.

BY MICHELE HERRMANN

<div class='pagelink'><a href='/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=903'>A Model for Other Nations</a></div>

<div class='pagelink'><a href='/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=905'>Changing Student Demographics</a></div>

<div class='pagelink'><a href='/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=906'>Fostering Sustainable Growth on Campuses</a></div>

WHAT HAPPENED TO all the people who thought online learning would drive traditional education out of the market? Just when "click" is supposed to be replacing "brick," branch campuses are proliferating around the country, to the point where the question facing academic administrators these days may well be, "Where and when are you planning to open your next branch campus?"

IN THE DYNAMIC world of higher education, technology drives innovation and advancement. The role of technology in higher education will continue to evolve as institutions realize the increasing importance of integration between campuses, departments and IT systems --and collaboration-- among students, faculty and staff.

THE MORE THINGS appear to change, the more things in fact remain the same. Higher education is no exception. Views once expressed about non-conventional (a.k.a. non-traditional) higher education are still very much appropriate.

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