Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- February 14, 2001

Distance Education Available for CSUF Nursing Students

Nursing students in both south Orange County and Garden Grove will be able to pursue a bachelor's degree at Cal State Fullerton through the use of distance education, thanks to a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Division of Nursing.

Cal State Fullerton's Professional Nursing Education Outreach Program has received $340,554 in second-year funding of a three-year $802,937 grant.

Modern state-of-the-art technology, including compressed-decompressed video telecommunication and the Internet, will be used to bring Cal State Fullerton nursing courses to sites beyond the campus. The grant also funds an evaluation of technology used in distance learning and program outcomes.

"The objectives of the grant are to create a learning environment that appropriately incorporates technology to meet course and program objectives and achieve optimum student outcomes," noted Dr. Chris Latham, chair and professor of nursing at Cal State Fullerton.

In the first year of grant funding, Web-based technology was incorporated into the classroom; a nursing course was fully Web-integrated; plus a comprehensive student evaluation process was developed for incoming and graduating nursing students. Part of this evaluation utilized the national Flashlight Project, which evaluates the use of technology in any discipline.

Also in the first year, a marketing plan was developed for the recruitment of employed nurses with an associate degree and diploma-prepared registered nurses.

The entire four-semester bachelor of science in nursing program is now available via interactive videoconferencing at the Mission Viejo Campus and CSUF Garden Grove Center.

"The use of distance education strategies will facilitate greater faculty-student communication, increase program flexibility, eliminate distance barriers to advanced nursing education, and help increase student and faculty competencies in the use of electronic information sources," said Latham.

The distance education strategies will include the use of chat rooms, e-mail and videoconferencing as well as face-to-face communication. These strategies also include Web-augmented courses, currently offered at two Orange County sites.

During this second year of grant funding, an interactive Web page to individualize student goals and activities to meet each student's career goals is being developed. This effort is expected to provide qualitative data for program evaluation purposes.

Additionally, the utilization of Web and videoconferencing technology for the expansion of the baccalaureate program will be continued.

Distance learning will be expanded in the fall to include seven Southern California Kaiser Permanente facilities in: Sacramento, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Los Angeles, Bellflower, Anaheim Hills and San Diego.

Media Contacts:
Dr. Chris Latham at (714) 278-2291 or
Susan Katsaros of Public Affairs at (714) 278-4854 or

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