Aligning Attendance Accounting for Asynchronous Credit Distance Education Courses with Synchronous Credit Distance Education Courses

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Educational Policies Committee
State and Legislative Issues

Whereas, During the last decade the legislature has provided significant support for online and distance education to improve access to California community colleges, and during the COVID-19 pandemic online course offerings at California community colleges have increased exponentially in both asynchronous and synchronous modalities to support remote student learning while the global public health crisis excludes or limits face-to-face teaching;

Whereas, Title 5 §58003.1(f)(1) attendance accounting requires that the weekly student contact hours for asynchronous credit distance education courses be determined by the credit units awarded for the course, not the actual student contact hours used for attendance accounting for the equivalent synchronous or on-site credit courses;

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges’ Resolution 13.03 SP13 “Aligning Attendance Accounting for Credit Distance Education Courses with Credit Onsite Courses” resolved that the ASCCC “support regulatory changes that allow attendance accounting for all credit distance education courses to be based on the student contact hours stipulated in the course outline of record rather than on the credit units, in alignment with the attendance accounting methods for the equivalent onsite credit courses,” but no revisions in Title 5 have yet addressed the inequity identified in 2013; and

Whereas, The funding model in Title 5 §58003.1(f)(1) fiscally privileges synchronous distance education courses over asynchronous distance education courses despite the following:

  1. No evidence to support inequitable funding levels;
  2. Guidance from experts in distance education, such as the faculty of the California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI), who have focused their standards and training around asynchronous course design and teaching methods; and
  3. The fact that student enrollment fees and faculty compensation obligations remain the same regardless of a given course’s modality;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support regulatory changes to equate attendance accounting models for synchronous and asynchronous credit distance education courses to fully fund all hours of instruction equally by working with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and other system partners to identify and eliminate regulatory and fiscal barriers that unfairly privilege synchronous credit distance education over asynchronous credit distance education.