Erica Bell, the executive director of regional centers and online programs at the University of Tennessee at Martin, was named to the board of directors for the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA).
The USDLA was the first nonprofit distance learning association in the United States to support distance learning research, development and practice across the complete arena of education, training and communications.
The USDLA was founded in 1987 on the premise of creating an alliance to meet the burgeoning education and training needs of learning communities via new concepts of the fusion of communication technologies with learning in broad multidiscipline applications.
The learning communities that the USDLA addresses are pre-K through grade 12, higher education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, home schooling and telehealth. In addition, the USDLA is also focused on national and international technology-based distance learning.
The association is governed by a board of unpaid volunteers, each elected for a three-year term. The board meets regularly as part of multiple committees as well as twice a year, spring and fall, to conduct the business of the association. There is also an executive committee made up of board members who hold certain key offices, and meet at least monthly to provide continuity of operations.
Bell also serves as the director of UT Martin’s occupational licensure program, an online program that helps professionals gains licensure in fields from aircraft maintenance to welding.
Bell was promoted to her position as executive director of regional centers and online programs on Aug. 15. The position oversees the operations of UT Martin’s regional centers in Jackson, Parsons, Ripley, Selmer and Somerville as well as the UT Martin Online. The university’s online MBA program was ranked 51st out of 344 ranked colleges by U.S. News and World Report last March.