Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- November 06, 2002
BESTNET Project at Cal State L.A. Makes Education
BESTNET (Binational English and Spanish Telecommunications Network)—a
distance education project co-founded by Beryl Bellman, professor of
Communication Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and
Armando Arias, professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSU Monterey
Bay—funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for
the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) for six years and
housed on the Cal State L.A. campus, was named one of the major projects
in the history of FIPSE by the American Association for Higher Education’s
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning (vol.34, no.5, 2002).
BESTNET pioneered distributed (distance) learning and collaborative
research between academic and research institutions in the USA and Mexico
and had a major impact on propagating the Internet at Mexican institutions.
Original funding for BESTNET came from the External Research Organization
of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for nearly $1 million and
two consecutive FIPSE grants for a total of approximately $800,000.
Early in the project, DEC announced in several of its news releases
that BESTNET was its most successful project for the company’s
External Research Organization.
Cal State L.A.’s Professor Bellman, who received his Ph.D. from
UC Irvine, is a specialist in computer networks, Internet, human-machine
interaction, computer mediated/interaction, enterprise design and development,
computer conferencing systems, and policy-telecommunications. His expertise
also includes intercultural communication, and formal and non-formal
education and teaching.
Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) is a unit
of the Office of Policy, Planning and Innovation, and is contained within
the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.
Its mandate is to “improve postsecondary educational opportunities”
across a broad range of concerns. FIPSE provides grants to colleges
and universities to promote reform, innovation and improvement in postsecondary
Well known and respected as an opinion magazine dealing with contemporary
issues in higher learning, the award-winning Change spotlights trends,
provides new insights, and analyzes the implications of educational
programs. Articles cover influential institutions and individuals, new
teaching methods, curriculum, finances, governance, and public policy.
Change is published six times a year under the editorial leadership
of the American Association for Higher Education.
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