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Almeda Named to New Online Education Post At UC Berkeley Extension.

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BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 11, 2000

Mary Beth Almeda has been named Assistant Dean for Online and Distance Education at UC Berkeley Extension by Dean Garry Brewer. In this new position, Almeda will oversee Berkeley Extension's expanding online instruction and distance learning programs.

"Mary Beth has pioneered Extension's move into online program development and is regarded as a national expert in this field," said Dean Brewer in announcing the appointment last month. According to the dean, this new position recognizes the increasing importance of distance education and how online instruction in particular can help Extension fulfill its mission to provide Berkeley-quality education convenient to the needs of busy professionals.

As Director of Extension's statewide Center for Media and Independent Learning and its predecessor, the Department of Independent Study, for the past 19 years, Almeda has overseen the creation and expansion of Extension's "cybercampus," UC Extension Online.

Launched in 1996 and supported in its early development with $2.5 million in grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation of New York, UC Extension Online is now considered among the premier providers of online education. It offers more than 130 courses in subjects ranging from e-commerce business and technology to comparative philosophy. Courses are available either through America Online or over the Internet; descriptions of all online courses can be found at http://learn.berkeley.edu.

"The future for online education is very bright indeed," says Almeda, "already we have enrolled more than 5,000 students in UC Extension Online and we expect 4,000 students next year alone, so demand is growing. Online education offers adult students a flexible and convenient new study format without compromising quality."

Almeda, president of the American Association for Collegiate Independent Study from 1995 to 1996, currently serves as vice-chair of the Commission on Learning and Instructional Technologies for the University Continuing Education Association.
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Date:May 11, 2000
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