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Feasibility Study for a Statewide Higher Education Information Technology Network
State of Connecticut, September 18, 1996

Applications of a Statewide Network- Connecticut

The State of Connecticut has expressed interest in using a higher education network infrastructure to provide a variety of services. Some examples are listed below:

  • Data Transfer
    • Charter Oak students can attain information on available courses and credits, submit proposals, and contact instructors, all via a personal computer equipped with a Web browser.
    • The DHE can have online access to student records at each higher education institution. This will facilitate the monitoring of financial aid, student transfers, etc.
    • All units of higher education would have increased capabilities to trace student flow among institutions.
  • Centralized Internet Access
    • A high speed link (45 Mbps) can provide alternative Internet access to each of the institution's lower speed links (1.5 Mbps and 56 Kbps). Furthermore, the State could charge individuals and corporations for Internet access via its high speed network backbone.
  • Distance Learning
    • Special multimedia classes in Psychology, English, and Engineering that were developed for UCONN can be provided to individuals at other institutions,
    • Interactive Nursing classes can be taught at CSU, with students participating at Connecticut hospitals and the UCONN Health Center
    • MBA and other graduate level courses can be provided to employees at Pfizer, Pratt Whitney, FI-F Hartford, and other companies located within the State. These individuals can take courses from their own office buildings, offered by professors at any of the higher education institutions.
    • The CTCs can better deliver courses in Differential Equations, Calculus, Physics, Statistics, Dynamics, and any other courses in the "engineering pathway" that would prepare students for engineering degrees at a Connecticut four year institution.
  • Remote dial-in
    • Students who do not live in dormitories or have ready access to school facilities can log into network resources from their homes. These individuals can get electronic mail, submit assignments, check grades, participate in discussion groups, etc.
    • Small sites, businesses, or institutions that cannot afford full connectivity to a statewide network backbone can provide dial-up access for interested users.
  • Shared Administrative Resources
    • A shared application to handle credit transfer between institutions can be implemented. A private network would ensure fast and reliable access to the required resources.
  • On-line information
    • All public library catalogs can be indexed and placed online. This would enable a student at any of the colleges or universities to find a variety of resources that would assist in the creation of a term paper, determine the locations of these materials, contact the appropriate libraries, and reserve the necessary documents, without ever leaving his/her home.
    • Information can be accessed and courses can be offered at any of the Connecticut museums. For example, a class on marine biology can be taught at Mystic Seaport and broadcast to all higher education and K-12 schools.

Most of these examples can be extrapolated to include other higher education institutions, as well as K-12, private businesses, etc. Today, most of these applications are anticipated, but not actually being deployed. With a network actually in place, the constituents will rapidly find other means of utilizing the available services.

Executive Summary
Table of Contents
12 Current Situation
13 Problem Statement and Impact Analysis
16 Benefits of a Statewide Network
17 Applications of a Statewide Network-Other States
18 Applications of a Statewide Network-Connecticut
20 Possible Technology Scenarios
21 Recommended Technology Scenario
22 Costing Model - Assumptions
23 Scope of Cost Model
25 Cost of Recommended Technology Scenario
26 Other Recommendations
30 Implementation Strategy

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