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Skidmore College – “University Without Walls”

815 North Broadway · Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 • Phone: (866) 310-6444 · Email: uww@skidmore.edu • Website: http://www.skidmore.edu/uww/prospects/distance_ed_learning.htm,

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By Michael Leppert

Distance Learning is a popular concept among homeschoolers of all backgrounds and philosophies. Colleges and universities that support and promote the idea of learning without the student having to be on a campus are increasing and the programs offered via distance learning are also growing in scope. One of the oldest and most significant among the institutions of higher learning with a long history of understanding the value of learning at a distance is Skidmore College, a small liberal arts college nestled in the middle of the Hudson Valley, New York State.

For the student with a significant amount college work under his/her belt, (an Associate Degree is most desirable) Skidmore’s University Without Walls (UWW) provides an intelligent and sophisticated approach to higher learning that veteran homeschoolers in particular, will appreciate. Previous college work demonstrates the student’s level of competency and also lowers the cost of the Skidmore program. The UWW program and its academic advisors help the student tailor his/her study regimen keeping in mind the student’s previous college work, learning styles, schedule and academic goals, to ensure successful attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher. As with all distance learning programs, individual motivation and drive figure heavily into the student’s potential for success and the UWW staff makes sure that the prospective student (and family) understand what is required in order for the student to take full responsibility for his/her education – which is more in the distance learning atmosphere than in the on-campus world, where face-to-face supervision is constant. The Skidmore staff will also assist the distance student with the technical aspects of word processing, Internet and e-mail technology so that you will not be hampered nor distracted by a lack of experience in these arenas.

And far from being isolated in cyberspace, the Skidmore UWW student will be aided by the staff in establishing contact and interaction with other students and faculty in a broad range of settings, conducive to your academic success as well as your social edification.

When you visit Skidmore’s website, http://www.skidmore.edu/uww/prospects/distance_ed_learning.htm, you will be able to take Skidmore’s online distance education primer, to see if distance learning is right for you. While most homeschoolers know by age 16 or so if they can function in such a self-motivated environment, the Skidmore primer provides a useful self-reflective checklist so that the prospective student can consider any aspects that might be weak and strengthen them, before such an aspect can become a hindrance to success. Obviously, academic work at the college level is similar everywhere, so the things one needs to consider for successful distance learning are more in the realm of personal learning style and familiarity with the computer/Internet aspects of the experience. Skidmore provides plenty of help in its primer, even before a student has become enrolled!

For the self-motivated, self-disciplined learner, a program like the UWW of Skidmore College that respects the student’s individual ability and sensibility, is a boon to homeschoolers nationwide. Please see their website for further information. M.L.



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