North Carolina Central University (NCCU)

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  • Virtual Classrooms
  • Telejustice Pioneer
  • Synchronous Online Learning Leader

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NCCU School of Law video

How a school of law keeps the dream alive for students through immersive distance learning

In 1939, Dr. James E. Shepard founded the North Carolina Central University School of Law with the vision to provide a program of study for individuals who were not admitted to other law schools. In its origin, NCCU School of Law was a school of opportunity. Today, Dean Phyliss Craig-Taylor and staff are keeping that vision alive by leveraging the power of technology to expand law school to students through immersive distance learning.

To do this, they turned to Polycom.

In 2010, they were the first law school that launched synchronous distance learning to their law students and currently 95% of their faculty use technology for instructional purposes.

“We pride ourselves on trying to make sure the classroom experience is never obstructed by technology. That’s one of the reasons we went to synchronous distance education. What we wanted to do was create an environment where the professor just walks into the classroom and teach like they normally do. They don’t have to do anything else, didn’t have to learn anything else, they just only have to provide the content. That’s how we got this room, the telepresence room,” explains Greg Clinton, Director of Information Technology and Facility Management at NCCU School of Law.

“Sixty is the maximum [students] we want to be able to see and interact with at one time. At this moment, there’s no product that allows us to do that, except RealPresence Clariti. Clariti, for us, offers the convenience of the soft client like Zoom, GoToMeeting and BlueJeans, but has the quality and the structure of Polycom hardware with audio and video,” says Clinton. “In teaching law, you’re teaching concepts. It’s important in the learning process to be able to see the person as you see them in real life. We want to make sure the process is so seamless that it mirrors real life as close as it could get.”

RealPresence Clariti is a powerful collaboration software that connects people visually, from any device, anywhere. Simple to purchase and implement with one pricing model, it can be deployed on premises, in a private cloud or through a partner-hosted service.

“At North Carolina Central University, we strive to be a technology leader and we believe that we have set the benchmark for other law schools in using Polycom products. We are increasing the pipeline of lawyers, and some of them may have given up on that dream. So, what we like to say is: they step into the vision that Dr. Shepard had when he founded the law school,” says Craig-Taylor.

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