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College of the Canyons graduates; image provided by California Community Colleges Chancellor's OfficeIn the coming weeks, the California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI) will be releasing its Online Education Initiative Enrollment, Demographics, and Outcomes Summary 2015-16 report.

Conducted by experienced independent evaluator the Research and Planning (RP) Group, the report analyzes the impact of online education at 24 OEI pilot colleges in supporting student completion and transfer.

The data-driven report corroborates emerging trends in education and the OEI’s potential to seamlessly support the evolution of learning within the community college environment. Using enrollments, demographics, and success and withdrawal rates, among other metrics, to determine outcomes for the OEI pilot colleges in the 2015-16 academic year, the RP Group’s analysis honed in on the OEI’s three main areas of impact: online education delivery, student success and institutional effectiveness.

In developing its findings, the RP Group also considered the OEI’s goal – of allowing community college students greater opportunity to attain their educational goals through increased access to high-quality online instruction and student support services – and the components that comprise this goal:

  • Support the development of a seamless student experience by expanding and integrating the CCC’s online education and student support ecosystem.

  • Increase the number of high-quality online courses that adhere to the highest standards in online education to increase student success.

  • Provide professional development opportunities by offering support to faculty teaching online courses.

  • Develop and offer online student support services to increase retention and success rates in online courses.

  • Support the local deployment of a common course management system to effectively deliver and manage both online courses and resources for students.

  • Implement an Online Course Exchange wherein participating community colleges can collaborate, develop and share online credit-bearing courses.

The OEI’s planned release of the Outcomes Summary report represents a unique opportunity for policymakers as well as community college faculty, administrators and staff to understand the work of the OEI and its potential impact on student completion when adequate resources are provided for faculty and students in an online environment. Internally, the OEI will utilize the report’s early promising data to continue expanding on best practices, and continue to build on areas of opportunity to better serve the community colleges.

Jory Hadsell is the Executive Director of
the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative


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