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The Rural Special Education Project is a federally funded partnership between Kayenta Unified School District and Northern Arizona University's (NAU) Center for Excellence in Education that aims to prepare well qualified special education teachers to work in rural and reservation schools. The participants are Native American residents working towards certification in special education and NAU students who move to Kayenta for two semesters. Two interactive instructional television (IITV) courses are typically given during the two-semester program. The courses are delivered over a network that links NAU with 10 community colleges and 5 rural school districts in Arizona. Operating on microwave technology, the IITV system is fully interactive and includes two-way video and audio, open microphones, and an on-site operator. Each student has a microphone, and a fax machine is used to send materials between sites. A survey of students indicated that advantages of the IITV courses were video back-up, quality education in a rural area, small informal classes, ability to live and work in their home community while earning college credits, ability to see the professor during class, and ability to fax out and receive information during class. Disadvantages were lack of resources available for classwork, impersonality of classes, inability to interact directly with the professors, expectations not always clearly defined, less guidance for students than in an on-campus class, and information not always received at appropriate time from campus. (TD)

Descriptors: American Indian Education, Course Evaluation, Distance Education, Higher Education, Interactive Television, Partnerships in Education, Rural Education, Special Education, Student Attitudes, Student Surveys, Teacher Education, Telecourses

Autor: Anagal, Judy; And Others


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