As an educator with 46 years of experience, currently an adjunct faculty member at both SUNY and CUNY schools, I have serious concerns about "SUNY's high-tech goals" [News, Jan. 16].
While the popularity of online courses is growing, there is no way for schools to tell who is at the other end of the Internet. Anyone can be taking the course for anyone else. I've had students admit to me that they've had others take a course for them, or have taken the course for someone else, at schools offering online courses for degree credit.
Online courses can help the bottom lines of institutions, as well as the students. The courses can accelerate time to graduation and reduce dropout rates, but then there is the thorny question of education itself. Is one who spends time in front of a computer receiving the same educational benefit as the student attending on campus? I think not.
A college education is supposed to produce well-rounded, somewhat sophisticated and educated individuals. Sadly, while touting alleged higher academic standards, most colleges and universities have really done their utmost to minimize academic requirements for graduation, sometimes with the aid of online courses. Obtaining a degree without the other interactions that a college campus provides may turn out employable people, but then so would a few courses at a technical or vocational school.
Bernard A. Bilawsky, North Massapequa