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California Community Colleges Online Education InitiativeThe Course Exchange, developed by the California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI), is an exciting new way for students to access the classes they need to complete their educational goals.

First launched in January 2017, Course Exchange Version 2.0 is now in final testing and scheduled to be released on Sept. 25. This update to the Course Exchange provides improved financial aid tracking, and allows the incremental release of new features throughout the year.

The Course Exchange gives students who cannot find the courses they need at their home college the ability to enroll — via a streamlined registration process — at another college that has available seats in the equivalent course. The Course Exchange provides a pathway for students to find and register for online courses at participating colleges without being required to complete additional orientations, testing and educational plans at each college.

Online Support For Students, Faculty

Faculty members participating in the Course Exchange have completed a peer review process and have had access to instructional design resources. In addition, their students have access to important resources to increase their success in their online course, including online tutoring, online readiness and online counseling.

“The Course Exchange is about the ‘whole student,’” noted Bonnie Peters, OEI Chief Student Services Officer. “By paying attention to factors that would affect a student’s success inside as well as outside the classroom, we are moving forward in providing equity of services for online students.”

Currently, six California community colleges (Butte, Coastline, Foothill, Fresno City, Lake Tahoe, and Ventura) are actively enrolling students through the Course Exchange for courses offered in the Fall 2017 term. All 24 of the initial pilot colleges* in the OEI Consortium continue moving forward on the deployment of the Course Exchange.

What To Expect In Version 2.0

In Course Exchange Version 2.0, much work has been done both programmatically and technologically to enhance access to course sections, increase online course quality and speed time to completion for our students. The continued evolution of the Course Exchange software responds to recommendations by participating pilot colleges, students and faculty.

The new release includes improvements to the financial aid process, new reporting screens, consolidated reports, and improved notification. Additionally, the sharing of CCC Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW) information between colleges and the ability to respond to student requests to combine units for financial aid are enhanced in this version.

“I believe one of the most important developments of Exchange 2.0 is the automation of the Financial Aid process which allows participating colleges to combine units so that eligible students can receive their maximum Financial Aid awards,” Peters said.

A new student dashboard enhances the user experience and provides feature flags to allow functionality to be added throughout the year. OEI staff members at the California Community Colleges Technology Center and Foothill-De Anza Community College District have been collaborating on all aspects of this project and have worked diligently to include the most urgent needs for Version 2.0 and are already working on requests for Course Exchange Version 3.

“I am glad to see the automating and improved reporting for financial aid and streamlined sharing of information,” said Judy Baker, Foothill College Dean of Online Learning. “I am also looking forward to the improvements to the student dashboard, which will reduce student confusion and questions.”

To Learn More

Additional information regarding the Course Exchange as well as other OEI services is available on the OEI website at An updated student guide, administrator guide and implementation guides can also be found on the Course Exchange Public Documentation Center.

Colleges participating in the Course Exchange must first become members of the OEI Consortium. This fall, the OEI will begin taking applications for new consortium member colleges. To find out more and to receive an application packet, contact Kate Jordahl at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

* OEI Consortium pilot colleges include Antelope Valley, Barstow, Butte, Cabrillo, Coastline, College of the Canyons, Columbia, Foothill, Fresno City, Hartnell, Imperial Valley, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles Pierce, MiraCosta, Monterey Peninsula, Mt. San Antonio, Mt. San Jacinto, Ohlone, Rio Hondo, Saddleback, Shasta, Ventura, Victor Valley, and West Los Angeles.

Kate Jordahl is Director of Strategic Planning & Operations for
the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative