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Open Access College was established in 1991. It was originally an amalgamation of the SA Correspondence School and School of the Air (SOTA).

The SA Correspondence School opened 1920 in North Adelaide, later moving to the city centre. Teachers prepared sets of lessons posted fortnightly to remote students. Mothers and governesses worked with children to complete lessons that were then returned to Adelaide. Questions from students and mothers were also posted to Adelaide. Snail mail, often taking 2-6 weeks, did little to alleviate feelings of isolation.

In 1958, SA School of the Air was established with support from the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Using two-way radios, students on remote properties became connected with peers and their teachers.

Today, advanced technology is used to synchronously connect teachers and students. Students can see and talk to classmates and teachers, work collaboratively and receive immediate feedback. Asynchronous support is provided through email and subject/year level websites.

The mainstay of education for remote and isolated families, students enrol for a variety of reasons including health, travel, elite sport, work commitments, and incarceration. School based students enrol to access single subjects not available in their school.