Your Columbians
Abraham Fischler

"I realized if we were ever going to have a school responsive to the individual student, we had to bring technology into the classroom as a vehicle to individualize instruction."

Abraham Fischler (1928– )
EdD 1959

Dr. Abraham "Abe" Fischler is regarded as the Father of Nova for his pioneering spirit in taking taking Nova Southeastern University in Florida on a journey to become a national leader in distance learning. Dr. Fischler began his quest to improve the education system through technology as a high-school science teacher in New York in the 1950s. He believed that to truly reap the benefits of learning, every student must have a curriculum tailored to his own individual needs, including having content delivered in a manner and at a pace consistent with the students' individual learning style.

During his 26-year tenure as president of NSU, Dr. Fischler was able to take his vision to the next level and center the university around the needs of each student. In 1971 he created the first doctoral distance-education program in the nation. Today, NSU is still a leader in distance education, enrolling nearly 17,000 students a year in distance-education programs.

Dr. Fischler's initiatives to make technology a part of the education system did not end at the college level. In 1994, after leaving the NSU presidency, he was elected to a seat on the Broward County, Florida, school board, one of the largest school districts in the United States. While in office, he helped to get a 400 million dollar bond issue passed to upgrade the district's technology.

Dr. Fischler has been involved as an educator and advocate for education reform for more than five decades. After earning his Doctor of Education from Columbia University School of Education in 1959, he went on to serve as a professor of education at the University of California at Berkeley and associate professor of education at Harvard University. He is currently president emeritus of Nova Southeastern University, and serves on the Florida Education Foundation on appointment by the Florida secretary of education. Dr. Fischler also serves on the Florida Board of Governors' South Florida Education Center and the Education Task Force of Broward County. He has received several awards, including an honorary doctor of law from NSU, Humanitarian of the Year from the EASE Foundation and Distinguished Educator from the Association of Independent Schools of Florida. He has also authored several books and articles on the delivery of education and reform in teaching methods.

Submitted by H. Wells Singleton, School of Continuing Education 1959, who is solely responsible for the content.

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