CHANDLER, Ariz., May 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization serving community colleges, has announced an ambitious initiative to significantly expand the availability of online courses at community colleges. Built in collaboration with Acadeum, the pioneering developer of an online course sharing platform, the newly created League for Innovation Online Course Sharing Consortium will enable community colleges to increase access to high-quality, credit-bearing online courses to help students stay on track to completion.
"This new consortium will help community colleges better meet learners' needs by arranging student access to courses that are unavailable at their home institutions," said Cynthia Wilson, Vice President for Learning and Chief Impact Officer for the League for Innovation in the Community College. "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."
The need for high-quality online courses and student-centric pathways has increased as learners navigate a rapidly changing labor market and the broader challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center recently reported that enrollment in associate's degree programs decreased by 10.9 percent over the past year. According to a New America survey, the number one reason students chose not to enroll was the demands of full- or part-time work. The consortium will allow institutions to offer credit-bearing courses at times and in modalities that are convenient for working learners.
Community colleges can participate in the League's course sharing consortium as home institutions, which gives their students access to other members' online courses. They can also join as teaching institutions, allowing other consortium members to enroll students in their online courses with excess capacity and generating additional revenue. Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania is the first school to join the consortium as a teaching institution.
Courses offered through the consortium will count fully toward GPA, financial aid, and graduation requirements at students' home institutions, which helps to support students on their path to completion. The consortium also avoids many of the inefficiencies of transfer and articulation, which can lead to wasted credits, lost time, and increased student expenses.
"The youth and adult learners we serve have complex, full lives that have been further complicated by the pandemic," said Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, President of Montgomery County Community College. "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."
In recent years, the consortial model for online course sharing has steadily grown in popularity with institutions, systems, and higher education associations, such as the Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas and the Council of Independent Colleges. Acadeum's course sharing platform has helped more than 14,000 students save over $30 million and accelerate their path to completion.
"For millions of students, their local community college represents a bridge to educational and economic empowerment," said Josh Pierce, CEO and co-founder of Acadeum. "This work is about building the infrastructure for community colleges to collaborate and share their strengths. We are excited to support the League in meeting this profound responsibility, allowing students to access additional courses to help them achieve their educational and professional goals."
The consortium is open to any member of the League for Innovation in the Community College. Community colleges can join the League to gain access to the consortium and other member benefits. Members interested in participating in course sharing as a home or teaching institution can visit https://go.acadeum.com/league_ocsc.
About the League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League serves as a catalyst for introducing and sustaining deep, transformational innovation within and across colleges and international borders to increase student success and institutional excellence. Founded in 1968 by B. Lamar Johnson and a dozen U.S. community and technical college presidents, the League has proudly served community college institutions for over 50 years. Through these years, the League has sponsored more than 200 conferences, institutes, seminars, and workshops; published over 200 reports, monographs, periodicals, and books; led more than 160 research and demonstration projects; and provided numerous other resources and services to the community college field. To learn more about the League, visit www.league.org.
Acadeum helps colleges and universities create academic partnerships with like-minded institutions to support student progress and equitable access. Today, more than 380 higher-ed institutions use Acadeum's course-sharing network to place students in online courses they need to stay on track for timely graduation. Institutions gain new revenue from courses they offer through the network, by sharing tuition dollars from courses taken by their students, and by keeping at-risk students enrolled. To learn more about Acadeum, please visit acadeum.com.