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New Online Course Sharing Network Aims to Boost Student Success in Community Colleges

The League for Innovation in the Community College is working to expand online learning at community colleges with a new course sharing network that will allow colleges to offer more high-quality, credit-bearing online courses to their students. The goal of the League for Innovation Online Course Sharing Consortium is to help expand students' access to the courses they need to complete their degrees. It was built in collaboration with online course sharing platform Acadeum.

"This new consortium will help community colleges better meet learners' needs by arranging student access to courses that are unavailable at their home institutions," explained Cynthia Wilson, vice president for learning and chief impact officer for the League for Innovation in the Community College, in a statement. "This initiative is also about harnessing the collective expertise and capacity of community colleges to improve flexibility in scheduling for students seeking in-demand courses."

Courses taken through the consortium will count toward students' GPA and meet the financial aid and graduation requirements of their home institutions. This essentially bypasses "many of the inefficiencies of transfer and articulation, which can lead to wasted credits, lost time, and increased student expenses," according to a news announcement.

Community colleges can participate in the consortium as "home institutions" or "teaching institutions." Home institutions give their students access to other consortium members' online courses, while teaching institutions open their online courses to other members' students, generating additional revenue with that excess capacity.

"The youth and adult learners we serve have complex, full lives that have been further complicated by the pandemic," commented Victoria Bastecki-Perez, president of Montgomery County Community College, the first school to join the consortium as a teaching institution. "Sharing access to our quality courses will assist partner community colleges in supporting learners along their path to certificate and degree completion. The consortium will enhance the learning experience and provide much-needed resources for students."

Colleges must be a member of the League for Innovation in the Community College in order to join the consortium. For more information, visit the consortium website.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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