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Business & Community Solution Center changes name, focus

October 16, 2000

The APSU Business & Community Solution Center, has shifted its focus and changed its name. Dr. Stan Groppel, formerly executive director of the Business & Community Solution Center, will continue to lead the operation, now called simply extended and distance education.

Through extended education and distance learning, the center will continue to meet the training needs of area business and industry. Off-campus credit classes, dual and concurrent classes, interactive television, and online and video courses are part of the offerings, along with non-credit courses in such high-demand fields as information technology.

The Community School for the Arts' activities have been absorbed by the appropriate academic departments. Dr. Vicky Langston, former Data Center director and the occupant of the Chair of Excellence in Free Enterprise, has returned to the classroom.

Elderhostel, part of an international program, will continue to serve the 55-plus population with quality educational programs at various locations in Tennessee.

The Austin Peay Institute for Learning in Retirement offers programs for local retirees.

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center at APSU provides free assistance in starting a small business, including development of business plans and loan proposals.

Dr. Linda Rudolph, interim vice president of Academic Affairs, said, “The Data Center was an initiative without resources to keep it running in an effective manner. Similar efforts at such sister schools as MTSU continue functioning because they are staffed by graduate students from appropriately related disciplines. We simply don't have that capability.”
Rudolph noted another reason for reorganization: the University's need to refocus on meeting the increasing demand for online courses. She applauded Groppel's role in the effort.

“Dr. Groppel has worked tirelessly so APSU will have a proposal that would allow us to be part of the consortia of universities approved to offer courses through the Army University Access Online.

According to Rudolph, it's near-critical for APSU to be part of the massive effort that the Army has initiated and funded. “We must get aboard or jeopardize our base of operations at the Fort Campbell Center. Army Online offers us an unsurpassed opportunity to increase enrollment without having to provide space or equipment.

“APSU's responsibility--if named to the consortia--will be to provide faculty and courses. I believe most faculty is committeed to this new and exciting initiative by the Army.”

Groppel and other members of the staff will relocate to campus when the Public Square lease expires.