PBS Opens The Doors to Its Newest Educational Offering--"PBS CAMPUS"

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PBS & Local Public Television Stations Help Adult Learners in the Quest To Learn About the World of Distance Learning

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 17, 2003 -- For millions of adult learners across the country seeking a state-of-the-art way to sift through the confusing array of educational alternatives available to them, life just got much simpler. Today, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) launches its "PBS Campus," (pbs.org/campus) a free Web site that allows users to search for a wealth of college courses offered via distance learning, identify and contact colleges where they can enroll in those courses, and learn about other options to help them pursue their education.

PBS Campus is a joint effort of PBS, local public television stations, and colleges nationwide. PBS provides full course materials -- delivered via video, the Web or both -- and the colleges provide the instructors, register the students, and award the credit and degrees. Students don't actually take a course from PBS; instead, PBS Campus is where users find out about courses they can take and the hundreds of local colleges offering these courses. Already, more than 120 courses are offered through PBS Campus and the list keeps growing. PBS is a major force in the distance learning arena: more than 230,000 students earned credit by taking PBS courses in 2002, and since 1981, more than 6 million students have been awarded credit through PBS courses.

"The launch of 'PBS Campus' marks a new era in PBS' and local public television stations' long history of serving America's colleges and their students," said Judy Harris, PBS' executive vice president. "Colleges for 23 years have trusted PBS and its local stations to provide the best, highly-produced multimedia courses for their students. Now we are unveiling a powerful, easy-to-use online resource to match up actual students with opportunities to take PBS courses, at these same colleges."

Hundreds of local colleges and universities offer PBS courses to their students, and these colleges are already listed in the PBS Campus "Find a Course - Find a College" search engine. Many of the courses listed on the site can be taken entirely at a distance -- at a time and place convenient for each user.

Among the features of PBS Campus are:

Find a Course
More than 120 PBS courses are listed, with detailed profiles describing insights from the course creator, episode descriptions, sample textbook chapters and course previews.

Find a College
Search a nationwide database of accredited colleges offering PBS distance learning courses. PBS Campus enables students to choose a college in which to enroll in the course(s) they want to take.

Student Stories
Come here to learn more about how other students have used distance learning courses to further their education or career. Among those featured on the site are John Santiago, who lives in Puerto Rico but earned a degree from Dallas County Community College, and Stacey Wellwood, who lives in the middle of Yosemite National Park where the nearest campus, San Joaquin Delta College, is a five-hour drive away.

Advice Center
Find answers to frequently asked questions, such as how to take classes without traveling to campus; how to get credit for life and work experience; and how to study effectively.

Campus Talk
Read postings by adult learners around the country, on a lively moderated message board open to all. Or post a message yourself, to share your own experiences as a student.

Campus Previews
Subscribe to this free monthly e-newsletter to stay informed, learn about new courses, read the latest student success stories and get great advice from leading distance learning experts.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 350 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.

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Kevin Dando, PBS