The 2009 Inductee for the Hall of Fame is Dr. Rodger Pool. Dr. Pool was a pioneer in the delivery of telecourses and ITFS distance education since the 1970’s, helping to create the early video production and distribution centers for Dallas County Community College, Dallas ISD, and for a statewide Texas Consortium of Community Colleges. He laid the groundwork for Texans to evolve into the age of online courses by changing the rules to offer more than thirty three percent of a degree at a distance. While chairing the Distance Education Advisory Committee for the Higher Education Coordinating Board, Rodger recommended for approval the state’s first online degree programs. Leaving a college presidency to return to the classroom, he now shares his experience – through interactive video – with emerging college and university leaders.
Dr. Pool was instrumental in:
- Building the initial distance learning program at the Dallas County Community College District, among the first telecourse production units in the nation.
- Leading the national distance learning movement as the first chair of the American Association of Community College’s Instructional Telecommunications Council (ITC) in the early 1980’s, setting the stage for America’s distance learning revolution.
- Chairing the Distance Education Advisory Committee for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board during the early 1990’s, moving the Board to adopt the first quality standards for distance learning and eliminating a “1/3rd rule” which prohibited any student from receiving more than one third of their credits by distance learning.
- As president of Eastfield College in the Dallas County Community College District, leading the campus to the forefront of distance education, providing more dual enrollment opportunities to more students than any other college in the system.
- Using interactive video over the Northeast Texas NETnet system to continue to transfer his knowledge to a new generation of Doctoral students as a professor in the Higher Education curriculum at Texas A&M Commerce.
The TxDLA Hall of Fame Selection Committee unanimously recommended Dr. Pool for induction into the Texas Distance Learning Hall of Fame. Many positive responses accompanied the recommendation. “Dr. Pool’s innovations and leadership in instructional telecommunications aided in establishing the value of distance learning, giving impetus to pursue the improved technologies we have today,” one committee member commented. “He’s a genuine distance education pioneer, accurately credited with exceptional accomplishments. The selfless sharing of knowledge and generous assistance he extends to others is less well documented, but no less noteworthy,” noted another that has worked closely with Dr. Pool in the distance learning arena. It is truly an honor for the 2009 TxDLA Board of Directors and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee to welcome Dr. Rodger Pool into the Texas Distance Learning Hall of Fame.