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State Board of Education approves plan for digital campus

The Idaho State Board of Education Thursday approved an initial implementation plan to expand online postsecondary education opportunities to Idahoans regardless of where they live.

The first phase of the three-year "Idaho Online" implementation plan will be funded by $4 million in federal coronavirus relief funds. Governor Brad Little's Coronavirus Financial Advisory Commission approved the use of the funds last month.

Idaho Online will utilize courses, degrees, services and resources already available at Idaho's eight higher education institutions, consolidating them into a unified online "digital campus" that will offer both career technical and academic programs, making them accessible throughout the state.

"We want to make sure Idaho Online augments our higher education institutions," Board Member Andy Scoggin said. "We don't want to recreate our institutions online. We want this to compliment what the institutions are already doing and to make Idaho Online affordable, fast and easy for people to use."

Idaho Online is modeled after successful digital campuses in Texas, Florida, Georgia and New York.

In late fall, Idaho students should be able to access courses made available through Idaho Online in time for the spring 2021 semester.

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