Originally Published In
International Women Online Journal of Distance Education
Gender disparity is evident in tenure track and tenured faculty positions at universities. However, distance education may provide more supportive environments for female academicians to grow and develop. The term distance learning is used to encompass any type of instruction delivered off campus. Distance learning has increased dramatically and has gained strategic importance possibly presenting women with a new realm for advancement. Leaders in distance learning must have qualities such as good listening skills, be understanding, engage in collaboration, be cooperative, demonstrate openness, have interpersonal sensitivity and empathy; attributes traditionally associated with females. This qualitative study utilizing a survey design, asked 21 participants, female administrators in distance education: “What are your perceptions of the role of distance learning in education today?” They perceived the role of distance learning in education today to be of utmost import and discussed the needs of learners, the access of distance learning, value of distance learning, federal and state requirements, the future of distance learning, the significant impact on Higher Education and the improvement needed.