Council on Distance Education

Mission Statement

The mission of the Council on Distance Education (CDE) is to facilitate the effective design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of distance learning methods of instruction in the field of rehabilitation education. We embrace the following principles in working to accomplish this task:

  1. Use of technology to support innovative, diverse and accessible learning approaches that expand access to educational opportunities.
  2. Promote the effective design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of distance learning activities at all levels of rehabilitation education (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, continuing education, etc.).
  3. The term “Distance Learning” encompasses a broad range of activities and processes, the appropriateness of which is dependent upon the specific circumstances of the educational programs and their students.
  4. Leverage existing research findings and contemporary educational practices to new research endeavors.
  5. All educators benefit from the sharing of ideas, best practices, and innovations in the use of technology and pedagogy to accomplish educational learning outcomes.

Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of the CDE includes the following:

Two co-chairs, whose function is to facilitate the interaction with the NCRE Governing Board. They will also maintain a record of the various projects that are occurring within the group, and a list of project directors. Co-chairs will serve two year terms, beginning in February, and ending in January two years later. This is intended to coincide with the NCRE conference schedule. The two year terms that the Co-chairs serve will be staggered, so that one Co-chair is replaced each year. This is to provide change in the leadership, but also maintain continuity. Co-chairs may not be from the same institution. At the end of each cycle, the co-chairs will be responsible to solicit volunteers from the group to fill the role of co-chair. In the event that more than one individual volunteers to fill the open co-chair position, it will be the responsibility of the sitting co-chairs to find a resolution that is acceptable to all parties. Any individual may serve more than one cycle as a co-chair, but may not serve consecutive cycles.

Project Directors’ function is to coordinate the efforts of committee members interested in working on specific projects. Project Directors will be appointed by the co-chairs to head up a project, and will generally be the individual(s) that make a project proposal. In the event that a proposal is made by an individual that refuses the role of project director, the co-chairs will solicit volunteers from the group to fill that role. The total number of Project Directors will be dependent upon the total number of projects being conducted. Project directors do not necessarily have to be members of the CDE, however, all proposals for activities involving the CDE must follow the guidelines established.

Professional Activities

The activities of CDE members will focus on the following areas:

  1. Knowledge Dissemination
  2. Idea and Innovation Sharing
  3. Research and Empirical Validation

In the event that a group member has an idea and would like to formally conduct a project focusing on one of these areas through the group, then a short proposal will be submitted to the co-chairs. It should contain the following information in a very brief format:

  1. Principle Investigator(s) Contact Information
  2. Project Overview
  3. Project Rationale
  4. Expected Outcome
  5. Anticipated Needs for Participation
  6. Anticipated Start and Stop Dates

The co-chairs will then alert the CDE group members to the proposed project and indicate who has been appointed project director. This will generally be the person(s) that made the proposal. Members will be directed to contact the project directors for additional information. It will be the project director’s responsibility to see that the project is carried out.

Note: Any proposals for research involving participants from the NCRE organization will still need to be approved by the NCRE Research Committee, as well as the principal investigator’s Institutional Review Board.


Council Chair


Council Co-Chair


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