California Community Colleges Joining Forces For Online Success

Career College Central summary:

  • With $57 million in funding over several years proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by the state legislature, California is about to launch a bold experiment in creating a statewide Online Education Initiative. The mission: to dramatically increase the number of students who obtain associate degrees and transfer to four-year colleges.
  • California's community colleges have been offering courses online for more than 20 years. Last academic year they taught 41,000 online sections to 620,000 students. Yet over the years there has been little coordination between the state's 72 districts in terms of technology platforms or student and faculty support. And retention rates in online courses remains stubbornly low, as they do nationwide. The hope is that bringing extra technology resources and centralization to California's community college system — creating an Online Education Ecosystem — will improve student success rates online.
  • Two colleges are partnering to lead the effort: Butte-Glen Community College District, which has experience as a host campus for other statewide technology initiatives, will focus on the technology implementation, and the Foothill-De Anza (FHDA) Community College District in Silicon Valley will focus on program and curriculum development. (FHDA has been a leader in online curriculum; approximately 30 percent of its enrollment is already online.)

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