School of Distance Learning (SoDL)
The School of Distance Learning (SoDL) was established in 2002. The mandate of SoDL is to develop, co-ordinate, promote and manage all open and distance learning programmes of Egerton University. Its Vision is to be a national and regional centre of excellence and choice for open and distance learning programmes. SoDL is headed by a Director who is answerable to the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs and has four departments each headed by a coordinator.
To be a national and regional centre of excellence in, and first choice for distance learning and research.
- Expanding access to quality and affordable higher education for Kenyans.
- Improve the quality of primary and secondary education, through research and enhanced access to Continuing Professional Development by teachers.
- Establish collaborations and partnerships with local and international institutions to develop, sustain and enhance appropriate and effective distance learning systems and personnel.
- Select, develop and utilize appropriate media and technologies for teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation in distance learning.
- Integrate with the local community through provision of service and consultancy.
In an effort to expand access to Higher Education (see Egerton University’s Strategic Plan – 2005 – 2015 Strategic Objective No. 1). Egerton University is gradually adopting a dual mode in teaching/learning. This is largely in response to the growing number of Kenyans seeking access to higher education, but who may not afford face-to-face instruction. The most active programme so far is teacher education which started in 2002, now with a population of 800 students. Plans are underway to launch pure Distance Learning programmes.
In an attempt to achieve the foregoing objective, SoDL has been mandated through strategic (see Egerton University’s Strategic Plan 2005/2015) to promote and facilitate the expansion of open and distance education.
This will be realized through the following strategies:
- Capacity building and enhancement on material development, student services, and Open and Distance Learning research.
- Support of the infrastructure development at SoDL and the ACDE secretariat.
Further, Strategic Objective No.10 gives SoDL the mandate to increase access to higher education by implementing the following strategies:
- Development of new demand-driven Self-sponsored programmes.
- Increase of the intake of students in Self-sponsored Programmes on non-residential basis.
Besides increasing access, quality and relevance of higher education in Kenya the foregoing strategic objectives will go a long way to expanding the student numbers and in turn improve the financial base of the University.
Strategic aims of the School
The strategic aim of the School of Distance Learning is to strengthen Egerton University’s position as the leading provider of distance learning in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region by:
- Responding to and stimulating further demand for higher education.
- Providing learners with the best possible learning experience through the use of appropriate and effective teaching and learning media and support services that enhance the quality of education and training; and
- Enhancing the university’s position as a financially sound and stable institution that has financial resources necessary for delivering its mission.
The School of Distance Learning is charged with the following core functions:
- Facilitate the development of programmes and delivery strategies for education and training through open and distance learning.
- Develop, implement and manage learning support systems and services, including community-based learning centers.
- Facilitate and promote research in open and distance education, and promote the dissemination and application of findings thereto.
- Develop collaboration and partnerships with local, regional and international open and distance learning institutions, organizations and relevant stakeholders.
SoDL is made up of four departments each of which is headed by a Coordinator: