Learning for the long haul

| July 06, 2007

“It’s win-win,” says Spurlin, “for us, for Sitton and for the drivers and their families.”

Yunek’s looking forward to working on a degree in business administration himself. “I haven’t exercised my brain in a new way in a long time,” he says. Before, he says, he couldn’t afford to do it. “Keeping track of the money in the business has always been my downfall in the past,” he says, “and knowing how to do it and how to manage the trends is where I need work. I’m excited about starting.”

Yunek says Sitton drivers get 8 hours of Idleaire use per day, so he’ll be able to use a computer to work online through course material. He’ll use the degree to get into buying and leasing trucks to Sitton, with which he’s been associated for 13 years – “I don’t really want a road job if it doesn’t include them,” he says.

“If someone comes to Sitton Motor Lines and this becomes their final job, fantastic,” says Brian Sitton. “But they’re getting more with this new program. If a driver wants to put his daughter through college, and it takes him four or five years and he’ll stay with us for that time, great. And how many drivers are out there thinking, ‘How did I end up here?’ If we can give them an outlet to get them to another level and they’ll stick with us while they’re doing it, even better!”
- Todd Dills

What is Distance Education?
Distance education takes several forms. You can choose the one that works best for you.
Traditional – Course content is delivered in writing or orally with no use of online technology.

Web Facilitated – Course uses web-based technology to facilitate what is essentially a face-to-face course. For example, the syllabus and assignments might be posted online but can still be done in writing.

Blended/Hybrid – Course blends online and face-to-face delivery. A substantial proportion of the content is delivered online, typically uses online discussions and has some face-to-face meetings.

Online – Most or all of the course’s content is delivered online. Typically has no face-to-face meetings.

Source: The Sloan Consortium’s study “Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005″

Independent Trucking 101
College courses aren’t the only venues for continued education out there. ATBS, the largest owner-operator business services firm in the nation, launched its Course of Advanced Business Standards (CABS) just over a year ago.

Angie Bruskotter, who wrote and helped develop the 12-part course, says it was originally intended for “new owner-operators, people just starting out, and existing owner-operators” wanting to get a firm grasp of their business.

“There are a lot of veteran drivers out there who know a lot about trucking,” Bruskotter says, “but they might not know as much about basic business principles. Drivers will come to us and say, ‘Why are you calling it a business? I just bought a truck. I don’t get it.’”

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