The assistant director of Brigham Young University's department of independent study has been promoted to director of the university's degrees by independent study department.

Scott L. Howell will replace Ralph Rowley beginning June 1."As director of this program, I want to see a portion of BYU extend beyond the Provo campus," Howell said.

One of his charges as director will be to make the degree program more accessible to people away from campus. Howell plans to incorporate independent study courses offered at BYU with the degrees by independent study program.

"In the past, the program hasn't used the independent study curriculum, but now we'll be taking advantage of more than 350 university courses," he said.

Using independent study curriculum will be a boon to students who are unable to complete their degree in the traditional manner, Howell said. BYU's independent study program is one of the largest providers of college curriculum through correspondence in the nation.

The current degrees by independent study program allows participants to earn a bachelor's degree through independent study and through courses on the Internet. Short, intensive seminars at the university or in designated off-campus locations are also part of the program.

The courses in the program are designed and taught by the university faculty. And the program culminates in a liberal arts degree.

As assistant director of Independent study, Howell was involved in developing university courses for electronic delivery systems.

Howell's doctoral studies included curriculum development and assessment. He has published and presented professional papers and articles on the application of computer and Internet technologies to education.

He has adjunct faculty status with the BYU instructional psychology and technology department and has been an instructor of religious education since 1990.