FHSU and Drake Beam Morin form partnership to provide college credit for e-learning business courses

HAYS, KS -- Fort Hays State University and Drake Beam Morin's award-winning e-learning division, DBM Knowledge Communication, have formed a strategic partnership to offer college credit for courses undertaken in business, management and professional skills. Students can select from nearly 30 CD-ROM courses in the area of organizational training and receive one credit hour for each course offered through FHSU's Virtual College.

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, noted that the new partnership would enhance the university's ability to serve the educational needs of Kansas business and industry. He said that DBM is the acknowledged leader in supporting the education needs of Fortune 500 companies, which include many businesses in Kansas, and now the employees of those businesses will be able to earn college credit while gaining valuable job skills.

"We are pleased to partner with a university as highly regarded as FHSU," said Clint Everton, president of DBM's e-Learning division. "The main benefit of this relationship means students have the opportunity to learn wherever and whenever they desire."

"After a thorough review of the instructional design, adult learning theory and extensive curriculum, we chose to partner with DBM because their quality equaled that of our own learning practices," said Cindy Elliott, dean of FHSU's Virtual College. "A key factor influencing the selection was that 70 percent of the business and management programs are based on simulations. This will enrich the students' learning experience and provide them with an opportunity to practice real-world situations in virtual environments."

Chris Crawford, associate professor of leadership studies, designed the FHSU model for the DBM courses, emphasizing an "open entry, open exit" format, which allows students to begin and end the courses on their own schedules. "I've really tried to design the courses from an on-line perspective," he said. "Registration and evaluation will all be on-line with the objective of facilitating student involvement from remote locations."

DBM projects that its library of courses will expand to 250 by late 2001. Programs currently available to students include Financial Management, Business Writing, Grammar Skills, Effective Presentations, Interpersonal Communication, Diversity, Interview Skills and many more.

DBM is the worldwide leader providing strategic solutions that help organizations align their workforces to meet changing business needs. DBM's award-winning technology-based e-learning solutions; DBM Knowledge Communication; help employees at all levels to improve business skills, enhance their careers and improve organizational performance.

Known for more than 30 years for its innovative and effective career transition services, DBM provides services in employee selection, development, retention and transition. With more than 200 offices in over 40 countries, DBM is a subsidiary of Harcourt, Inc., a $2 billion publishing and education company.

Fort Hays State University was established in 1902 and will celebrate its Centennial in 2002. It is a regional university, with an enrollment of about 5,600, that principally serves western Kansas. However, FHSU has a mission unique among the Kansas Regents universities to incorporate computers and telecommunications into its curriculum. Over the past several years, it has established a reputation as a leader in providing distance learning using modern technology. The Virtual College delivers courses for FHSU's four colleges; Arts and Sciences, Business and Leadership, Education, and Health and Life Sciences; by videotape, CD-ROM, interactive television and the Internet to place- and time-bound students across Kansas and beyond.

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