Kansas State University: K-State part of UAW-Ford program to provide distance education to UAW workers seeking college degrees

October 31, 2001

Kansas State University is one of 17 universities and colleges nationwide involved in a new program providing United Auto Workers members the opportunity to take college courses through the latest distance education technologies.

The UAW-Ford University Online program allows UAW workers to work full time while earning their college degrees or to just take a course or two.

The program creates a virtual university network and allows students to earn certificates to doctoral degrees.

“With more than 25 years of experience in providing quality distance education programs, we thought K-State was a natural choice to become part of the UAW-Ford University Online program and UAW-Ford agreed,” said David Stewart, assistant dean of the Division of Continuing Education, which administers K-State distance education programs.

K-State and the other participating educational institutions are all regionally accredited and have established distance learning programs offered online and through other technologies. K-State offers distance education through a variety of delivery methods, including online and through innovative CD-ROM technology.

“K-State distance education programs available to UAW members include bachelor’s degree completion programs in a variety of fields, including general business and interdisciplinary social science, and master’s programs in agribusiness, industrial/organizational psychology and a variety of engineering fields,” Stewart said.

“In addition, K-State offers a variety of student services, including technology assistance, to ensure students have the opportunity to succeed.”

While K-State has similar arrangements to provide educational programs with other universities and consortia of educational institutions, the UAW-Ford program is the first formal arrangement K-State has entered with a business or industry, Stewart said.

“This is an area we hope to develop for both credit and noncredit programs in the future,” he said.

Although K-State does not currently have a way to track enrollment of UAW members who may be taking K-State courses through the new program, Stewart said K-State’s distance education programs are serving students across the world.

“We currently have distance education students in 87 counties in Kansas, 47 states and 11 foreign countries.”

Other participating colleges and universities in the program include Baker College of Flint, Mich., Central Michigan University, Davenport University, Empire State University, Macomb Community College, Madonna University, Mercy College, Owens Community College, Purdue University at Calumet, Sinclair Community College, the Union Institute, Thomas Edison State College, University of Maryland/University College, University of Michigan at Dearborn, University of Toledo and Western Illinois University.

More information on the UAW-Ford Online University is available at http://www.uawford.com/ufu/Intro.cfm

More information on K-State distance education programs is available at http://www.dce.ksu.edu/dce/distance/index.html