January 1, 2003
The first program that awards a Carnegie Mellon degree to students doing all their work outside the university is now under way, and it is more than a staggering experiment in distance learning. It is a step toward globalization.
The students are in Greece, at the campus of Athens Information Technology (AIT), a new education-and-research center started and run independently by Greeks and committed to partnering with Carnegie Mellon. In 16 months, the students will earn a Master of Science in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute (INI). For some courses, the students are participating - via live video feed, with interaction - in classes taught by Carnegie Mellon faculty to students in Pittsburgh. (The time difference is seven hours.) Other courses are being taught at AIT, by AIT faculty under Carnegie Mellon supervision. Next summer, in this straight-through program, some of our faculty will travel to AIT to teach.
By fall 2003, the charter class (there are currently about 30 students) will be joined by a new class. The charter students will graduate in time for Christmas. Beyond that, where the partnership might lead is an open question. How and why it came to be is story enough for now. - Excerpted with permission, Carnegie Mellon Engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Fall 2002. Image: The new AIT building in Peania, Greece.