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Syllabus News Update for Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Syllabus News Update:
An Online Newsletter from SyllabusMedia
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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


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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

For more information on the OUC’s findings, visit

Meeting the Wireless Challenge

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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

"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.

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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 place "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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