For the past 100 years, women have constituted the majority of students in distributed learning, initially through correspondence courses. During those years, most administrators and faculty did not consider them an important student body. Their individual and collective political and ideological struggles in higher education were seldom considered important educational issues.

Currently, women are the majority not only of the distributed learning (DL) population, but also of the nontraditional-age campus college students. So it is particularly important to focus on why women pursue online education, the constraints they may face in doing so, and the impact that gender has on classes that are not face-to-face.

Many of the women returning to college classes (whether for career advancement, higher wages, or personal satisfaction) face significant barriers not experienced ...

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