Alliances among higher education institutions have been around for a long time. The use of information and communication technologies has promoted the development of new types of alliances in recent years. Traditional on-campus students seem to be shopping for distance learning courses. In 2002, many campuses estimated that the vast majority of their online students were also on campus. As Web-savvy students click their way through course offerings by their local institution, they are expecting more and more courses to be available in multiple formats to fit their schedules and learning preferences. The leaders of higher education institutions recognize the growing need to develop some level of coordination to ensure curricular continuity, enrich the breadth of distance learning options, and keep their students' affiliation.

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