Small and Rural College Participation in Online Education Initiative Course Exchange

Resolution Number
Geoffrey Dyer
Assigned to
Online Education Committee
Consultation with the Chancellor's Office

Whereas, Online Education Initiative (OEI) Pilot courses that have been reviewed and meet the OEI Course Design Rubric have an average success rate 4.9% above the statewide success rate for online courses,[1] correlating with the high quality of materials required to meet the OEI rubric and the resources (or online ecosystem) available to colleges in the OEI Consortium;

Whereas, The OEI announced expansion of its Consortium in late 2017, with a final application deadline of Friday March 9, 2018, and at least 29 colleges applied to join the Consortium, but the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) released a Request For Applications (RFA) to manage the California Virtual Campus/Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI) on March 8, 2018 including the language that an objective of the grant is to expand the Course Exchange by making “20 seats available to participating students from other colleges by Fall term 2018” in “each course offered through the CVC-OEI,”[2] despite the fact that existing colleges in the OEI Consortium have only been required to make five seats available in Course Exchange courses for students from other colleges throughout the application period to join the OEI Consortium, and the Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee (OEIAC) including Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) representatives is tasked in its charter to “Provide recommendations to the OEI project staff and CCCCO on policies for the Exchange”[3] but has made no recommendations regarding the 20 seats indicated in the RFA to manage the CVC-OEI, despite the requirement’s relationship to processes for institutional planning and budget development and processes for predictive scheduling in order for students to achieve their educational goals expeditiously;

Whereas, The OEI website throughout the application period for joining the consortium stated “When a college becomes a member of the OEI consortium, the college and its faculty have the opportunity to participate in the course exchange,”[4] but the CCCCO RFA to manage the CVC-OEI extends eligibility to all 114 California community colleges to become home colleges, thereby increasing the number of students who can potentially enroll in the teaching college’s courses; and

Whereas, The new 20-seat requirement may preclude students at teaching colleges, especially those that are small and rural colleges, as well as colleges with small class sizes and limited course offerings, who are at or above cap but whose students might otherwise benefit from the OEI online ecosystem, from enrolling in required coursework which may not be available elsewhere in the Course Exchange, potentially placing students at teaching colleges in competition with students from all California community colleges for seats in Course Exchange courses at their own colleges;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office that appropriate mechanisms be identified and implemented by the Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee to ensure that participation as teaching colleges in the Course Exchange does not impede degree and certificate completion for students at small and rural colleges; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee that, in light of varying class sizes and limited numbers of sections of courses available at small and rural colleges, the requirement of 20 seats for students from other California community colleges in Course Exchange courses be replaced with an appropriate percentage of seats per course.