[The President’s Council approved a new distance learning policy and a related copyright policy for the college at its meeting on Sept. 10, 2008. In March 2008 the college's Intellectual Property Policy had been approved by the Board of Governors for Higher Education.]
The Distance Learning Policy is designed to ensure consistency and quality in distance learning courses as the college continues to see growth in this alternative method of course delivery. Distance learning courses provide flexibility in scheduling to accommodate the diverse needs of our students, and they also will expose students to many different ways of pursuing lifelong learning.
The Distance Learning Policy that was adopted was primarily based upon the recommendations of the Distance Learning Advisory Committee, which worked for four years under the leadership of Professor JoAnn Warren of the Business Department and Dr. Linda Beith, our former colleague from the Information Technology Department. The Academic Department Chairs Council approved the President’s Council’s changes to the committee’s recommendations before the final version was passed on Sept. 10.
In conjunction with the Distance Learning Policy, the President’s Council approved a Copyright Policy to adopt policies required under the 2002 federal Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (the TEACH Act). These policies are designed to protect faculty against copyright infringement claims in the distance learning environment. In March 2008, the R.I. Board of Governors for Higher Education approved CCRI’s Intellectual Property Policy, which deals with issues of ownership of copyrights and patents developed at the college. The Intellectual Property Policy will, among other things, protect the ownership rights of faculty members who place their own materials, videos and audio files within online courses. The Distance Learning Policy expressly incorporates the Intellectual Property Policy.
With the three above sets of policies in place, now the Community College of Rhode Island is set for future expansion of its distance learning program. Vice President for Academic Affairs Lela Morgan has appointed Professor Daniel Donovan of the Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Department to be the Distance Learning coordinator to work on implementing the policies that are now in place.
Members of the Distance Learning Advisory Committee who worked on the Distance Learning recommendations in addition to the above named co-chairs were: Karen Allen, Computer Studies; Anthony Basilico, Computer Studies; Luis Malaret, Biology; Maureen McGarry, Dean of Health and Rehabilitative Sciences; Sandra Megerdichian, Nursing; Jaime Nash, Center for Workforce and Community Education; William Pellicio, Human Services; Beverly Pepe, Mathematics; Teresa E. Squizzero, Administrative Office Technology; Martha M. Vigneault, Physical Therapy; and Robyn A. Younkin, English.