Skip to main content

New School Online records

 Record Group
Identifier: NS-03-03-01


The New School Online records document the university's office devoted to developing and supporting online education. The files in this record group cover the second year of its existence as the Distance Instruction for Adult Learning (DIAL) program through 2008. The unit has also been called Distance Learning and is known as Global and Distributed Education as of 2017.


  • 1992 - 2008



5.2 Cubic Feet (4 boxes, 1 folder)

Scope and Content of Collection

The files in this record group appear to have been largely created and compiled by Christina (Tina) Yagjian, Manager of Academic Services for the New School University's Distance Learning Program. Her title was later changed to Director of Online Learning, The New School, inkeeping with university re-branding efforts and shifts in higher education terminology.

Although these files were transferred from the offices of Distributed and Global Education in 2015, the most recent documents date from 2008. As of 2008, course catalogs continued to refer to the New School's "distance learning program."

Many of the files concern learning management software, such as Banner and Blackboard, including evaluation, procurement, adapting the software to existing university policies and procedures, and training of students and faculty. Included are reports, proposals, written instructions, meeting agenda and minutes, and numerous print-outs of e-mail correspondence as well as print-outs of chat sessions.

Language of Materials

All materials in English.

Access Restrictions

Collection is closed for research use. Files with faculty or other personnel salary, performance reviews, and hiring information are restricted for 50 years from creation date of item (or last creation date in file). Collection will be open for general research use in 2058, 50 years from the most recent documents in the files. Interim access will be provided at the discretion of the New School Archives director or by written permission from the originating office.

Use Restrictions

Collection will be open for general research use in 2058, 50 years from the most recent documents in the files. Interim access will be provided at the discretion of the New School Archives director or by written permission from the originating office. Please contact for more information.

Historical Note

The New School Online is, as of 2017, today known as Distributed and Global Education, a unit of The New School's Office of the Provost. Founded as Distance Instruction for Adult Learning (DIAL), it was established in 1993 with financial assistance from the United States Department of Education in the form of a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant. The university piloted three liberal arts classes during the fall 1993 semester and launched them online during the spring 1994 semester, following collaborative evaluation with the University of Michigan.

The New School had been offering online courses since 1985 through an external vendor, Connected Education: Academic Courses via Computer Conferencing, or ConnectEd. The underlying technical infrastructure was supported by the Electronic Information Exchange System of New Jersey. At The New School, ConnectEd existed simultaneously with DIAL for a few years, possibly until DIAL was no longer considered to be in a pilot stage, and last appears in a 1996 course catalog. Paul Levinson, the founder and president of ConnectEd as well as a Media Studies faculty member, was ConnectEd's director for the entire eleven year duration. Although ConnectEd and DIAL served a similar function, there does not appear to be any personnel overlap. ConnectEd records are not present in this collection.

DIAL's stated purpose was to enable adult students with no computer experience to complete bachelor's degree requirements through "computer conferencing." During these formative semesters, only classes situated in the university's Adult Division (known as Schools of Public Engagement in 2017), under the leadership of Dean Elizabeth Dickey, were offered online to students. Stephen J. Anspacher (d. 2012), a graduate of Columbia University's Teacher's College, served as the first director of Distance Learning.

Over time, the name of the unit changed from Distance Instruction to Distance Learning, to New School Online University, to New School Online. By 2000, Anspacher's title had changed to Associate Provost for Distance Learning, and, by 2003, Anspacher's last year at The New School, the unit had dispensed with "distance learning" to become the Office of Distributed Learning Services (New School Online University). "New School Online" appears to have been last used in 2008, the most recent year represented in these records.

A key member of the unit was Christina (Tina) Yagjian, Academic Services Manager and, later, director of New School Online. Yagjian, an artist, had been teaching arts-related courses at The New School, including DIAL courses, when she was hired as manager. At the time of the records transfer to the New School Archives, Jim O'Connor was serving as director of Distributed and Global Education, although documentation of activity carried out under his direction is absent from the records.


Kennedy, Carol Kahan and Tina Yagjian. "Creating an Early Model of Teaching at The New School." Critical Examinations of Distance Education Transformation across Disciplines. Ed. by Abigail G. Scheg. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2015. 15-43.

New School course catalogs. Public Engagement series:

"Remembering Stephen J Anspacher, Pioneer of Online Distance Learning at The New School." Sep 14, 2012. New School News. Accessed May 2, 2017:

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Distributed and Global Education to the New School Archives, 2015.

Guide to the New School Online records
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
July 21, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description