Scores With Ill. Virtual High School Deal Scores With Ill. Virtual High School Deal

The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded a contract to provide technology and services for the Illinois Virtual High School, the company announced Jan. 8.

The award to Denver-based eCollege is the outgrowth of an initiative by Gov. George Ryan and the Illinois State Board of Education to offer online learning opportunities to high school students and teachers.

The initial value of the contract is $98,000, according to the board of education. The contract also contains a provision for additional earnings based on demand.

The contract calls for eCollege to build and host the Illinois Virtual High School portal and to provide training to teachers and administrators.

"IVHS is one more component of the state's efforts to electronically increase educational equity and access to rich and varied learning opportunities," Ryan said. "Using eCollege's eLearning platform and tools, students will be able to access courses that may not be offered by their respective high schools, while at the same time enhancing their technology skills."

The company provides Internet portals, online courses and hosting services to the educational market for both traditional and distance education. Its platform was originally designed to serve post-secondary institutions but has been adapted for K-12 educators, said company officials.

Other K-12 clients for the learning platform are the state of Kentucky and local school districts in Alaska, California and Georgia.

The company, which trades on Nasdaq, has 345 employees and had sales of $4.8 million in third quarter 2000.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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