Distance education in Virginia: An exploratory analysis

Tony H. Grubesic, Daniel G. Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As distance education programs continue to grow in the United States, several interesting questions pertaining to the "geography" of distance education are emerging. For example, what is the spatial distribution of distance education students for a typical college? Are schools successful in attracting students from beyond their traditional service areas? From a broader perspective, how does this impact our understanding of information and communication technologies as they relate to time-space convergence and the impact of "real" space on accessibility to educational opportunities? Utilizing a database of enrollment information from the Virginia Community College System, a commercial geographic information system, and basic statistical analysis, we explore the spatial dimensions of distance education. Results indicate major differences in the spatial distribution of distance education students between urban and rural colleges and that both temporal and spatial constraints influence participation in distance education programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-124
Number of pages21
JournalSoutheastern Geographer
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Accessibility
  • Distance education
  • GIS
  • Telecommunications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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