The College of Open and Distance Learning (CODL) of St. Mary’s University was launched in March, 2000 as Distance Education Division (DED) focusing on Business and Law fields of studies. A year later in 2001, it widened its training programs and included various fields of studies in Teacher Education.
Since then, the College has been making a speedy growth, providing diversified training to distance learners who wish to pursue their education in various fields of studies, through its branch offices, which are located throughout the country. The branch Offices are responsible for registration of students, distribution of learning materials, organization and coordination of term-based tutorial and examination sessions, and collection of registration and tuition fees in their respective branches. The branch Offices are also responsible for liaising with government and non-government bodies and the communities in the regions. The branch Offices are directly accountable to the head office in matters of administration, and all their work is monitored by the same.
The College is headed by a Vice President who is directly answerable to the President of the University. Under the CODL Vice President, there are offices and units: Academic Dean Office, Associate Registrar Office, Centers Management and Quality Assurance Office, Material Management and Distribution Unit, and Material Production Unit. All the offices and units have their own departments and sections under them.
Academic Dean’s Office
The Academic Dean’s Office is one of the major support offices of the College. It is primarily responsible for the design of distance learning curricula, in addition to the preparation, editing, and revision of distance learning modules. Moreover, it oversees the organization and coordination of tutorial sessions, and the preparation, administration and correction of assignments, project works and term-end examinations. It is the primary concern of this office to ensure that the distance learning curricula are designed and/or revised in line with the requirements set by the Ministry of Education and the criteria for quality distance learning modules. The Office works toward ensuring the materials developed for distance learners are self-instructional, learner-centered, interactive and communicative.
Besides, the Office is responsible for conducting, promoting and coordinating practical attachment and internship programs, and rendering academic counseling services to students. Practical attachment and internship practices are conducted by the Office through the collaborative effort with different bodies and the tri-partnership agreement of SMU-CODL, trainees, and training institutions. In this regard, a lot has been done and significant experience has been accumulated.
The College has three departments: Department of Business and Economics, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Department of Agriculture and Development Studies, each offering undergraduate degrees in various fields.
Centers Management and Quality Assurance Office
Since its establishment in 2000, CODL has been making all possible efforts to provide quality distance education to its learners all over the country. With a view to facilitating efficient service delivery, both academic and administrative, different branch offices were organized under the Office of Center Management and Quality Assurance. The Office is charged with the enormous task of coordinating the multifaceted activities of branch offices.
The Office has also been carrying out research-related activities and delivering community services. Its educational services have been characterized by a wide choice of study programs and a commitment for quality. Its research endeavors have resulted in its Annual National Open and Distance Education Seminar organized for the past fifteen years. Similarly, its community services have benefited individuals and organizations that have enjoyed its scholarship opportunities and donations. CODL’s undertakings and achievements are the one-side manifestations of the fact that the University is really “Committed to excellence!” Aspiring for excellence in teaching, research, publications and community services, CODL has put quality as its top priority.
CODL’s Associate Registrar’s Office
Established in 1999, the Associate Registrar’s Office of CODL is responsible for managing the academic records of students. The number of students has been consistently increasing each year and a remarkable number of students have graduated to date. The Office is dedicated to provide the highest level of customer-centered services to the academic community and stakeholders with a particular emphasis on academic records, academic progress, enrollment data, and academic certification.
Material Production Unit
The major function of the Material Production Unit of SMU-CODL is to produce and supply standardized and quality Course Materials (Modules) for distance learners. To this end, it has acquired many state-of-the art printing machines with the capacity of duplicating thousands of pages per hour. With the introduction of such printing technology, the Unit has embarked on enabling learners to get eye-catching and reader-friendly modules.
Material Management and Distribution Unit
The major activities of the Unit are conducting inventory, identifying the learning materials need of each branch centers, and distributing learning materials developed for distance learners.