Portrait of a UTA Family
The Taylor family's association with UTA and its preceding institutions began in 1911. It continues today through Lloyd Clark and his granddaughter, sophomore Alida Eggen.

Birth of Nations spawned UTA family affair
With the family home on land now occupied by UTA's South 40 parking lot, it's not surprising that seven Nation siblings attended neighboring North Texas Agricultural College in the 1930s and 1940s.

Military intelligence
UTA is among 29 universities offering
online degrees to Army personnel


By day, Army Sgt. Doug Robinson works as a helicopter mechanic at Fort Campbell, Ky. By night, he’s a husband, father of two, and—surprise—a UTA student.

Sgt. Robinson enrolled at UTA through a new initiative called Army University Access Online, or eArmyU for short, a $600 million, five-year program designed to educate 80,000-100,000 soldier-students.

“This is the largest distance education initiative–ever. And we’re delighted to be a part of it all. We’re looking to serve a very large number of students through eArmyU.”
–distance education Director Pete Smith

UTA is one of 29 universities in the consortium selected to offer online degrees to Army personnel. Penn State University, Indiana University and the University of Washington are in the consortium, as are two Texas schools, Central Texas College in Killeen and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

Consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers manages the technology and recruits schools to participate. Ten other companies are involved to help with online tutoring, technical support and other behind-the-scenes services.

“This is the largest distance education initiative—ever,” said Pete Smith, assistant vice president and director of distance education. “And we’re delighted to be a part of it all. We’re looking to serve a very large number of students through eArmyU.”

The Army initiative fits particularly well with UTA’s plan to increase enrollment through distance learning and transfer agreements with other universities. “This enables us to do something that is very consistent with our mission,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Dana Dunn said. “It allows us to expand educational outreach to people who otherwise might not have access to higher education.”

UTA already boasts a significant, and growing, distance education program. “Our enrollment numbers at the Center for Distance Education are growing every semester,” Dr. Smith said. “For fall 2000, we had 575 Internet students. For spring 2001, that jumped to 675. What sets UTA apart is this center. We have an office and staff solely dedicated to distance education—almost exclusively Internet distance ed courses.”

Then fully implemented, eArmyU will bring even more students to UTA and, through the consortium of schools, will provide eligible soldier-students access to more than 3,000 online courses and 150 certificate and degree programs.

Students began enrolling in eArmyU courses in January. For the initial rollout, UTA is highlighting an online M.B.A. program, the degree that Sgt. Robinson is pursuing.

“I chose UTA because it offered a general M.B.A.,” he explained. “Plus, I was born and raised in Cleburne, so I wanted to keep things close to home, so to speak.”

eArmyU students may also enroll in any UTA online undergraduate course, and more graduate programs will be added as the program expands. Eventually, through the UT TeleCampus system, all core undergraduate courses will be available online, for eArmyU students and anyone else enrolled through distance education.

“We bill our Internet courses as flexibility aids,” Dr. Smith said. “Some of our students may never set foot on our campus but will take all of their courses and earn their degree online.”

The Army established its online university to enhance recruiting, increase retention, and develop educated, information age-savvy soldiers. In this first stage, eArmyU is offered at three Army installations: Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; and Fort Hood, Texas. Eventually, the educational opportunities will be available Army-wide.

“I think, long term, UTA’s participation in the Army distance education program will have a very positive impact,” University President Robert E. Witt said. “It will allow the University to make a substantial contribution to the country, and, at the same time, it will allow UTA to increase enrollment.”


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