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Noem Hosts Online Education Roundtable

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Taking classes online has become an accepted way for college students to ear their degrees. Thursday Representative Kristi Noem was in Sioux Falls to talk to college administrators and students about expanding online education, also known as E-Learning.

Representatives from colleges around the state filled a room at the University Center,
sharing their thoughts, concerns and beliefs about online classes .

Associate Dean at Dakota State University Wayne Pauli is a product of online learning and has also taught classes online. He says in order to keep up with the competition, online classes need to be more readily available for any type of student.

"They can pick up additional classes, take classes during the summer, maybe get a minor, get done with that college degree so they can get done a little sooner," said Dakota State University Associate Dean Wayne Pauli.

In the fall of 2012, 30 percent of the students enrolled in DSU programs took all of their classes online. Fourty-six percent enrolled in at least one online course.

But Pauli is not worried online classes will prevent students from coming to campus.

"We have not seen that on our campus. Our dorms are continuing to be full," said Pauli.

Representative Kristi Noem received her college education online too.

"I think online learning is great. Students getting the education that they maybe otherwise wouldn't be able to get. It's those students who can't go to a university to sit in a classroom," said Noem.

So she is trying to make online education more accessible and affordable, especially for non-traditional students who can't be on campus every day.

"What we need to do is make it easier for them and easier for our  schools to provide those type of classes," Noem.

Noem is Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional E-Learning Caucus. She says she plans on using the information she collected for future higher education legislation.

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