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