OEI Work Recognized Statewide & Beyond

California Community Colleges Online Education InitiativeThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI) continues to be recognized for its groundbreaking work of creating an online ecosystem for student success, completion, and faculty professional development.

Recent recognition has been received not only throughout the state of California, but nationally and internationally as well.

Recognition By California Legislature

On Oct. 13, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 637, a new law designed to support increased student access to the Course Exchange that was developed by the OEI. The Course Exchange provides a seamless pathway for students to register for online classes across colleges participating in the OEI Consortium. Access to the Course Exchange is built into each participating college’s registration system so students who are unable to find certain courses at their local college can cross-enroll into online courses at another participating college. Students at early pilot colleges began using the Course Exchange to register for Winter/Spring 2017 classes.

AB 637 allows students to use their home college residency classification when registering for courses through the Course Exchange. In addition, the bill authorizes eligible students to consent to electronically transfer required enrollment data to the teaching college, and calls for an online methodology to allow eligible students to be informed of opportunities to access online courses. The full text of AB 637 can be found here.

The project is looking forward to Spring 2018 registration with an expanded set of pilot colleges and an updated version that helps students seamlessly combine financial aid eligibility between the home and teaching college. For more information, contact Kate Jordahl, Director of Strategic Planning and Operations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Recognition By California Higher Education

The Online Education Initiative received the 2017 California Higher Education Innovation Honors "Change Leaders" award.For the second year in a row, the California Higher Education Collaborative (CHEC) has awarded a California Higher Education Innovation Honors award to the OEI. Joe Moreau, OEI Executive Sponsor from the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, accepted the “Change Leaders” award at the 2017 CHEC Conference.

The award recognized the OEI’s foundational work in building a social and technology infrastructure that supports collaboration among colleges to increase student success. This infrastructure is composed of four elements:

  1. Technology platform and interoperability, with the Canvas common course management system as its base, that provides a powerful and familiar learning environment for both students and instructors.

  2. Access and online support for students at any time of day, a critical element in providing equivalent support for all students.

  3. Faculty support and professional development that encourages high quality course design and teaching practices that are shared among instructors.

  4. Institutional collaboration at scale that streamlines the student experience and removes barriers to a shared infrastructure.

Recognition At Regional, National & Int’l Conferences

The OEI is catching the attention of our higher education colleagues outside of California. In a one-month time span, the OEI provided presentations at the following conferences:

  • World Conference on Online Learning, Toronto: Over 1,400 delegates from 95 countries had the opportunity to participate in a workshop led by OEI Chief Student Services Officer Bonnie Peters and her staff entitled, “Online Student Support Re-imagined and Re-invigorated: Then, Now and What’s to Come.” For more information about the work of the student services team, go to the Student Services section of the OEI website.

  • WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) 29th Annual Meeting, Denver: Nearly 350 member organizations from throughout the U.S. and Canada had the opportunity to learn about the OEI Consortium from Jordahl, in a panel entitled, “eLearning Consortia: Spotlight on Three Statewide Inter-Institutional Partnerships.”

  • EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, Philadelphia: Foothill-De Anza’s Moreau, OEI Executive Director Jory Hadsell and Jordahl discussed implementation of the Course Exchange with a breakout session entitled, “The California Community Colleges’ Online Education Initiative: Cross-Enrollment for Successful Student Completion.”

  • Open Access Week 2017, online: OEI Chief Academic Affairs Officer Barbara Illowsky co-hosted a webinar on developing and sharing Open Educational Resources (OER) open course content and academic work. For webinar archives and more information on the OER Consortium, go to www.oerconsortium.org.

New OER Resources

In conjunction with Open Access Week, the OEI website premiered Open Educational Resources (OER) for faculty. These resources provide a wealth of information, including zero textbook course degrees and OER accessibility guidance. Instructors will also find a dozen sample course shells with embedded OER that have been created by faculty teams and are aligned with the OEI Course Design Rubric.

All in all, November is a great time for everyone participating in the OEI — pilot college staff, faculty, program and technical teams — to take a breath and give thanks for how their hard work is contributing to the success of the OEI. This work could not have been possible without the deep commitment and participation of stakeholders throughout California’s community college system.


Andrea Hanstein is Director of Communications and Partnership Development for
the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative


Add comment