Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




This study was concerned with policy research for coordinating state higher education and telecommunication efforts. It focused on graduate and continuing education and on distance learning. (Distance learning is an extension of the classroom which utilizes interactive television.).;This study's research was to identify and analyze possible coordinating state policies that would best facilitate distance learning in Virginia. This is linked to how Virginia higher education can interact with business and industry to encourage academic and industrial cooperation in distance learning.;It was hypothesized that there is consensus among influential people in Virginia as to the best coordinating policy for Virginia's graduate and continuing education and distance learning. The results of the study indicated the research hypothesis was not fully supported. However, one of the seven policy options, the telecommunications cooperative, revealed near consensus (87%) among participants and was considered to be the best option to facilitate distance learning in Virginia. The results of the data fit with the study's theoretical model, Plude's Telecommunications Cooperatives Model.;The responses of influential Virginia leaders in higher education, government, business and industry seem to support these conclusions: (1) The participants confirmed that there was a real and urgent need for distance learning in Virginia's graduate and continuing education. (2) Participant opinions concerning the best way to fund and to coordinate a workable system did not result in overall agreement. However, they agreed in three areas: higher education must include business and industry, a state-level cooperative be formed to coordinate and facilitate a workable system, and funds for distance learning come from those who are involved--the customers and providers and these funds would include both state and private monies. (3) Participants gave strong support to the need for developing a coherent state policy in Virginia. (4) of the seven policy options considered, the participants considered a state telecommunications cooperative policy to be the best option.;In the future, policy research will need to focus on interstate and international education and in issues relating to education as a life-long pursuit.



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