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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
An Online Newsletter from SyllabusMedia



News for Tuesday, July 20, 2004

* For-Profit Institution Popularity Slipping, Says Online Consortium
* Marines In-Country Tap For-Profit Distance Learning Program
* Digital Cinema Degree Reflects Growing Documentary Market
* Deals, Contracts Awards: High Performance Computing Systems
* University Teams Race for 3D Design & Analysis Competition


For-Profit Institution Popularity Slipping, Says Online Consortium

Job candidates from traditional universities with online programs are more
likely to be hired and promoted by corporations than candidates from for-profit
providers of online education and degree programs. That’s the conclusion of
a study by the Online University Consortium, a group of traditional universities
which describes its mission as providing “access to reputable universities
that have online degree programs you can trust.”

The OUC looked at data compiled over a recent 12-month period, gathered
through surveys of corporate decision-makers attending major trade events
such as Society for Human Resource Management and American Society for Training
& Development. When compared to the previous year's findings, 'EC said it
found the number of companies preferring traditional universities is up 15
percent, with 65 percent selecting traditional schools compared to 50 percent
in 2003. OUC said it also found that the number of companies choosing
for-profit businesses declined, with 14.3 percent now indicating they would
select a for-profit compared to 22 percent in 2003.

Deborah Besemer, president and CEO of recruitment services provider BrassRing,
said employers are avoiding schools that have flooded the market with online
degree programs and which have questionable regard for quality. "We see this
when they search for candidates and specifically eliminate certain schools
from their search. Reputation of the educational institution is what matters
the most," said Besemer. "Employers want to hire students who have a full
college experience whether online or in the classroom. They are looking for
well-educated individuals to join their companies."

For more information on the OUC’s findings, visit


Marines In-Country Tap For-Profit Distance Learning Program

Of course, the U.S. military might not feel the same way as the schools of
the OUC. The American Military University, a for-profit online education
provider based in Charleston, W.Va., says a group of Marines deployed about
112 miles west of Baghdad are pursuing university degrees via their online
program despite the demands of war, power outages, sandstorms and sometimes
crowded living quarters with as many as eight roommates.

"Being deployed to a combat zone is what we do," Staff Sgt. Tom Draffen told
the school. "But my goal to obtain a degree d'esn't go away when I deploy.
Now, I don't have to postpone it when I travel 8,000 miles around the world."

Draffen enrolled at AMU last August to pursue dual bachelor's degrees in
environmental studies and history. He began his studies at his home base,
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. Because the coursework is
completely online, Draffen missed only 12 days of studies when he was deployed.
His professors rescheduled his classes to keep him current.

For more information, visit:

Digital Cinema Degree Reflects Growing Documentary Market

Yet another for-profit educational institution, National University, says
it is offering a new online Master of Fine Arts degree in digital cinema
through its School of Arts and Sciences, reflecting a growing market for
documentaries and broader access to cinema production. The program is designed
to educate students in all aspects of the digital film medium, from film history
and theory, to screen writing and film production.

Graduates will be trained as independent and documentary-style filmmakers,
or to work in the fields of industrial and educational film.

"The digital revolution has democratized the film-making process," said Alyn Warren,
lead faculty for school’s MFA program in digital cinema. "Expensive filming
and editing equipment has been replaced by digital cameras and desktop
computers, giving independent filmmakers the capabilities that were once
the exclusive domain of large film studios. Media outlets have jumped from
57 channels to 570 digital stations. The market is primed for professionally
prepared filmmakers, well versed in the new digital media, who can produce
work of significant quality," he said.

Deals, Contracts Awards: High Performance Computing Systems

-- Duquesne University purchased two Silicon Graphics Inc. Altix supercomputers
and an SGI InfiniteStorage system under a National Science Foundation Grant.
The systems will support in part the work of Dr. Jeffry Madura, associate
professor and chemistry chair, and Dr. Jeffrey D. Evanseck, associate professor
of chemistry, who have teamed up to create a state-of-the-art learning and
research environment. Among the projects the two are working on with the
SGI technology are analysis of the structure and dynamics of DNA, with a
focus on drug design for possible genetic control; researching peptide encapsulated
cadmium sulfide nano-clusters -- known as quantum dots -- which may form the
basis of new optical devices; and a carbon dioxide sequestration project for
the National Energy Technology Lab.

-- The University of Tampa turned up a DS-3 network to deliver 45 Mbps Internet
services to its campus. The service will be provided through a service
level agreement with TeCove Inc. which guarantees 100 percent network availability.



University Teams Race for 3D Design & Analysis Competition

Teams from four European universities won a software design competition in
which students were asked to design, build, develop, test, market, and race
a small Formula One racing car. The contest , Formula Student, was sponsored
by SolidWorks Inc., a provider of software for design and technical drawing.
The winning teams were: The University of Applied Sciences, Stralsund, Germany
(first place); Oxford Brookes University, U.K. (second place); Universita
degli Studi di Firenze, Italy (third place); and the Instituto Superior
Tecnico, Portugal, for fourth plac "Formula Student is about challenging
students to reach their engineering potential," said Rosanne Kramer, director
of worldwide education markets for SolidWorks.

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