The political economy of growing a rural university in the United States using online education: an examination of incentives for educational imperialism and academic capitalism

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dc.contributor.author Zacharakis, Jeffrey T.
dc.contributor.author Tolar, Mary H.
dc.contributor.author Collins, Royce A.
dc.date.accessioned 2014-11-03T22:04:58Z
dc.date.available 2014-11-03T22:04:58Z
dc.date.issued 2014-11-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/18629
dc.description.abstract Rural colleges and universities in the USA struggle to recruit new students as their geographic region is depopulating and cost to attend classes on campus are increasing. Online education using the Internet is rapidly expanding as an effective growth strategy to reach new groups of students. In this paper we take the position that online education is a form of cultural imperialism and academic capitalism where curriculum developers and professors are motivated to enroll new students in order to maintain the credibility and strength of their programmes and host institutions. We argue that it is not our intent to be educational imperialists or capitalists. Rather these are unintended consequences of our actions. This argument is supported by political economy theory in that we are marketing a technical rational form of online education without awareness of its long‐term cultural, economic, or political ramifications. Even though we pride ourselves on developing a high quality programme that in our eyes meet the needs of our students, understanding the political economy of online education is essential if our programme that has access to the global market is to go beyond the individual needs of students and address social, cultural and political needs. We conclude that one way out of this malaise is to understand our role as instructors and course designers as a first step toward understanding the intended and unintended consequences of online education. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.uri http://www.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2013.857732 en_US
dc.rights This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Lifelong Education, 33(4), 440-454. International Journal of Lifelong Education is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02601370.2013.857732#.U_SLLvRdXU8 en_US
dc.subject Online education en_US
dc.subject University recruitment en_US
dc.subject Cultural imperialism en_US
dc.subject Academic capitalism en_US
dc.subject Rural university en_US
dc.title The political economy of growing a rural university in the United States using online education: an examination of incentives for educational imperialism and academic capitalism en_US
dc.title.alternative The political economy of growing a rural university in the USA using online education: An examination of incentives for educational imperialism and academic capitalism en_US
dc.type Article (author version) en_US
dc.date.published 2014 en_US
dc.citation.doi 10.1080/02601370.2013.857732 en_US
dc.citation.epage 454 en_US
dc.citation.issue 4 en_US
dc.citation.jtitle International Journal of Lifelong Education en_US
dc.citation.spage 440 en_US
dc.citation.volume 33 en_US
dc.contributor.authoreid jzachara en_US
dc.contributor.authoreid mtolar en_US
dc.contributor.authoreid racollin en_US


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