Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department



Date of this Version

September 1996


Produced by the Department of Agricultural, Leadership Education, and Communication, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources' (IANR) 1995 Strategic Plan identifies “implementation of distance education” as one of its three overarching objectives as the university moves into the 21st century. In addition, the Nebraska Network 21 vision statement recognizes distance education as an integral part of Nebraska's future as we develop educational strategies to address learners' needs, both formally in the classroom, as well as informally in the community or the workplace.

The citizens the University of Nebraska serves are requesting that postsecondary education be more responsive to their lifelong learning needs at a price they can afford - in both time and money. Advances in technology have eliminated access issues, making it possible for learners 10 participate in education without leaving town, workplace or even home. This situation positions die Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication (AgLEC) for a broader role in the education of both traditional campus-based students and place-bound adults. In this new role, we can address the needs of learners for the application of theory in the workplace, as well as their demands for practical training in various areas.

Training and retraining will be critical to economic development in light of projections that people can be expected to make eight career changes in their professional lifetimes. The American Society of Training and Development predicts these career changes will result in the need for retraining 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2000. We no longer speak of a national workforce, but a global workforce, one that is affected economically and socially by changes around the world. learners of all age groups, income levels, and backgrounds are coping with economic and social changes through a greater commitment 10 their roles as lifelong learners.