Centra Powers Southwest Missouri State University’s ‘eHighSchool’ and ‘China Connection’ Programs
Centra (NASDAQ: CTRA) recently announced that Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) has extended its use of Centra’s eLearning infrastructure to deliver real-time, online learning to high school students located in rural areas of Missouri, and to university students in the People’s Republic of China. Using Centra’s enterprise-class virtual classroom application, Centra Symposium™, SMSU is able to effectively extend the reach of its teachers and resources to provide richer, more varied educational programs to students who would otherwise have limited, if any, access to courses in basic subject areas, such as physics, chemistry, algebra, calculus, and language.
A Centra Symposium customer for two years, SMSU’s real-time, online learning programs have culminated in two of its biggest initiatives – the “eHighSchool” and “The China Connection.” The eHighSchool was created to address the learning gap experienced by rural high schools in Missouri, where teacher shortages and the high cost of hiring instructors for few, widely dispersed students make it difficult to deliver basic educational courses. The China Connection program was developed to link SMSU expertise and resources in technology management with university students in China. Currently, SMSU is working jointly with the Liaoning Teachers University and the Qingdao University to establish online courses through Centra to graduate students initially, and later to be followed by undergraduate students.
“Centra’s virtual classroom application has enabled us to multiply our resources exponentially and extend our reach – providing some of the most innovative, cost-effective educational programs at SMSU,” said Russell Rhodes, Director, Center for Scientific Research and Education, College of Natural and Applied Sciences at Southwest Missouri State University. “The success of the eHighSchool and our plans for The China Connection could not be achieved without the ability to connect online using IP audio and application sharing to replicate the interactions of a physical classroom environment.”
Centra’s collaborative, real-time eLearning environment has also prompted SMSU to explore wholly new business opportunities with organizations such as the Missouri National Guard.
Software Infrastructure for eLearning and Collaboration
Used by more than 600 companies, government agencies, and universities worldwide, Centra’s enterprise products and services are based on CentraOne™, a robust and extensible thin-client architecture for eLearning and collaboration. By leveraging the core capabilities of the Web-based CentraOne platform, Centra is the only company to offer a full range of knowledge delivery and management solutions – from live, voice-enabled virtual classrooms, Web conferences and online meetings to powerful products for content management, personalized eLearning, and standards-compliant authoring – all on a single platform. Through this integrated environment, organizations can increase the overall effectiveness of their eLearning initiatives, targeting the appropriate mix of live and self-paced learning formats and activities for each audience or strategic business task.
“A satisfied and long-time Centra user, SMSU has been an innovative force in new applications of Internet-based distance learning. This is exemplified by their work with rural high schools in Missouri and two universities in China,” said Joyce Bokuniewicz, Centra’s Director of Higher Education Programs. “Our university customers continue to prove time and again how real-time, online communications can augment traditional instructor-led and self-paced learning, and overcome economic and geographic barriers to education.”
About Southwest Missouri State University
Southwest Missouri State University is a major university with more than 17,500 students from Missouri, nearly every other state and 80 other countries. SMSU offers more than 140 undergraduate and 40 graduate academic programs. For more information, visit http://www.smsu.edu.
With more than 1.5 million users, Centra is the world’s leading provider of software infrastructure and ASP services for eLearning and business collaboration. Today hundreds of global organizations have standardized on Centra for the delivery of live eLearning, including Accenture, Century 21, Domino’s Pizza, EMC Corporation, McKessonHBOC, Nationwide Insurance, Siemens, Stanford University, and Procter & Gamble. Centra supports a vital ecosystem of strategic eLearning partnerships, which include alliances with Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EDS, Cisco, Oracle, Saba, Docent and Global Knowledge. Headquartered in Boston’s technology corridor, the Company has sales offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.centra.com.