Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LL.M. Program Announces Integrated Distance Option Beginning Fall 2014

We are proud to announce that we will be adding an innovative distance option to the LL.M. Program beginning fall 2014.

The Press Release was posted today on the University of Arkansas Newswire, Agricultural and Food Law Program Launches Distance Education Option.  This will be the first of a number of blog posts that describe the new option and what it means for the Program, our candidates, and our alumni.

Unlike most other distance LL.M. Programs, the Arkansas approach will provide full integration between enrolled face-to-face students and their online classmates. Core LL.M. classes will continue to be offered on campus. Distance students will be able to participate in real time through live video-conferencing. Classroom capture and carefully designed interactive exercises will be available when a conflict prevents a student from participating. Enrollment is limited to preserve the benefits of smaller classes.

For the new distance students, the LL.M. classroom will be wherever they are, allowing them to maintain their job and residence elsewhere.

“Typical distance programs use technology to present course material and to interact through online postings and email,” said School of Law Associate Dean Don Judges. “We use technology to also bring the classroom experience directly to distance students and to bring distance students directly into the classroom.”

In addition to courses delivered “live” with synchronous video conferencing, innovative hybrid courses and self-paced, guided online study courses will be offered. Course design is being completed with help from experienced distance learning professionals at the UA Global Campus.

“This program is an exciting opportunity for people who want to study agricultural and food law but cannot come to the Fayetteville campus to study,” said Javier Reyes, vice provost for distance learning. “The launch of the LL.M. program is the latest example of the university’s commitment to expanding educational opportunities and employing innovative teaching methods that combine Fayetteville’s academic quality and distance education’s flexibility. By providing more online programs, the university is responding to market demands and student needs.”

The popular LL.M. condensed-courses, taught by visiting experts over a period of several days will continue, with distance students encouraged to visit Fayetteville or to “conference in” to the class on their computers or tablets.

An expanded LL.M. curriculum of specialized agricultural and food law courses will be available, and the complete integration of the Program will allow students to enroll in any of the courses that are offered, maximizing the opportunities available to them.

LL.M. students attending classes on-campus in Fayetteville will benefit from the expanded curriculum and the experiential opportunities available in Northwest Arkansas.  These include participation in the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative, the Food Recovery Project, and food and agriculture related externships. Graduate assistantships will generally be limited to students on campus. And, almost all of our alumni will agree that experiencing the charm of Fayetteville while getting to know your classmates is a special opportunity. Regardless, all of our students will benefit from the ability to interact with professors and students worldwide.

The Program allows students to enroll full time, completing the degree in just two semesters or part-time, with up to four years to finish.  The part time option is designed for attorneys who seek to develop specialized skills while also maintaining a busy practice.

“We are pleased to add a distance component so that lawyers throughout the global agriculture and food sectors can benefit from our unique curriculum and outstanding faculty,” said Stacy Leeds, dean of the School of Law.

For more information and to apply to the program, please visit the LL.M. program’s website.

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