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Ohio Learning Network Awards College of Engineering

Date: May 3, 2001
By: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Archive: Campus News, General News

The Ohio Learning Network (OLN) has awarded the UC College of Engineering half a million dollars for the development of web-based courses at the graduate level. In both grants, UC is providing leadership to a group of state universities cooperating in this effort.

The College of Engineering has been a leader in distance learning for several years, offering advanced courses statewide through the Ohio Aerospace Institute and organizing a General Electric-funded project comparing traditional and web-based learning in engineering courses.

"The Ohio Learning Network grants were the only two grants of their kind awarded, so it positions us well among our peer institutions," noted Eugene Rutz, who is involved with both projects as a principal investigator (PI) and co-PI.

The courses will be developed over the next two years to serve engineers in the workplace who want to do graduate-level work, but don't have time to study in a traditional campus setting. Ultimately, the engineers might be able to earn a master's degree.

The programs are the Ohio Engineering Management Consortium ($250,000) and the Ohio World Class Manufacturing Education Consortium ($250,000). Rutz is the principal investigator for the management consortium, which also includes the University of Akron, Cleveland State, the University of Dayton, Miami, the University of Toledo and Youngstown State.

Associate professor Sam Anand is the principal investigator on the second project in manufacturing education. The partners are Cleveland State, Ohio State and Wright State.

Rutz said preparation and research were the keys to winning the statewide grant competition. "The College of Engineering has been diligent about identifying the appropriate topics for technical professionals in Ohio and this region. We had completed an educational needs analysis that gave our proposals 'a leg up.' We also identified appropriate mechanisms for faculty involvement and collaboration with other universities.

The Ohio Learning Network was established under the auspices of the Ohio Board of Regents to make it easier for Ohioans to complete their degrees.

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