More Than 100 Years of Distance Education
In 1862 a U.S. congressman named Justin Smith Morrill had a vision to assure that education would be available to those in all social classes.
His bill, also known as the Land Grant College Act, provided a means to finance institutions of higher education with a focus on agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other professions that where practical at the time.
Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska is one of these land-grant institutions.
Making Education Accessible For All
The Act changed the course of higher education, shifting its focus from classical studies to more applied studies aimed at preparing students for the world they would face once they left the classroom.
The Act also provided education support directly from the government, ensuring there would be financial backing for public higher education.
As these institutions contributed to research and the body of knowledge in their focus areas, the need to disseminate this knowledge arose.
Soon, financial support flowed to cooperative extension, sending land-grant universities’ representatives to virtually every county of every state and making guides to academic learning accessible to the general public.
Experience Since 1909
As a rural state with a distributed population, many Nebraskans had no local options for education past the 8th grade.
Rooted in the land-grant spirit of educational access and community outreach, the University of Nebraska began offering paper-based correspondence courses in 1909.
Since that time, and with the advent of the Internet, distance education at the University of Nebraska has evolved into innovative online courses and programs that connect faculty and students across the state and all over the world.
Technology may have changed over time, but our committement to educational access and the success of our students has remained steadfast.