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A Salute to George Pruitt, Online Learning Pioneer and Adult Learner Advocate

Today, online learning is ubiquitous. According SR Education Group’s Guide to Online Schools, there are 23,342 unique programs from online schools, encompassing more than 130 distinct subjects from the associate to doctoral level. Given the increased number of adult students, who would naturally be attracted to online courses for the convenience they provide, the precipitous growth of e-learning is unsurprising.

Of course, not long ago, the closest thing to e-learning available to students was correspondence courses facilitated through mailed VHS tapes. In recognition of the tremendous growth of online learning, Philly.com spoke with one of its leading advocates: George A. Pruitt, retiring president of Thomas Edison State College.

Pruitt, who will soon retire from the position he holds with the university dedicated to students older than 21, has had a hand in online learning since the 80s. Today, few courses at Thomas Edison are actually taught in classes on its campus, a testament to the universal acceptance of online coursework as an alternative to traditional learning.   

In addition to discussing the benefits of online learning for adult learners, Pruitt extols the virtues of prior learning assessment as a way for adult students to complete their academic goals.

“The form in which the learning took place is irrelevant to us,” Pruitt told Philly.com. “We don’t care where the student learned it, we care about the fact that the student learned it.”

Prior to his tenure at Thomas Edison, Pruitt was CAEL's first executive vice president. Pruitt's relationship continued with CAEL after he left, serving as both a trustee and board chair on CAEL's Board of Trustees.

CAEL salutes Pruitt’s efforts to increase access to higher education to all people. In recognition of his work, Pruitt was the recipient of CAEL’s 2011 Morris T. Keeton Award. The honor is awarded annually in recognition of CAEL founding president and independent voice for innovation in education, Morris T. Keeton. View a video of Pruitt’s acceptance of the award at CAEL’s 2011 International Conference below.




To read the full article from Philly.com, click here.

Every year, CAEL takes the opportunity to recognize the leading advocates for increasing opportunities and improving learning outcomes for nontraditional students at the CAEL Annual Conference. For more information on this year’s conference, to be held in San Diego from November 15-17, click the button below




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