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Re: “Up to 1 in 5 state students live far away from a college”:

I am surprised no mention was made of classes and programs offered via the internet. As a former professor of English at Highline College, I taught online classes in English composition. Some of my students lived in Alaska as well as remote areas in Washington state.

The preoccupation with physical facilities and teachers on-site is what Marshall McLuhan called “seeing the future through the rearview mirror.” When it came of age, the community-college system offered alternatives as well as access to the university system. Again, we need to break with tradition. We need to devote more planning and resources to the potential inherent in the internet, computer instruction and artificial intelligence to service all students.

Even for students within the 60-minute drive time cited as a standard in the article, the time and cost of transportation can limit options for urban as well as rural populations. Family obligations, work schedules and finite resources are just as constraining as geography.

Educational institutions need to think beyond brick and mortar and grand campuses to expand educational opportunities for all.

William Hofmann, Burien