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California Communty Colleges Online Education InitiativeThe time has come for California’s community colleges to consider adopting a common course management system. The Online Education Initiative (OEI) will facilitate and subsidize the use of the Canvas CMS for colleges choosing to adopt it.


We are working out the contract details now, and are also developing a timeline for implementation with Canvas. These details will be available in the next few weeks. We do know that we will be able to accommodate many of the colleges within the California Community Colleges that are interested in adopting Canvas within the next year, and anticipate that the cost of the new system will significantly reduce the cost that colleges are currently incurring for their CMS’s.

Meanwhile, college communities should be having in-depth conversations about what they want to do. By spending time now in conversation about whether or not to change, those colleges wishing to adopt will be ready to implement at the appropriate time. Adoption of a new CMS requires serious consideration of the costs and benefits of making this kind of change. We’ve put resources together in an open Canvas course shell to assist in your decision-making process. These can be found at Video interviews with our colleges that have adopted Canvas will be added to this resource very soon.

Just to clarify, there is a pilot in process for the course exchange component of the OEI. However, participation in the course exchange or in the any of the three pilots is not required to adopt the systemwide CMS. In addition, we know that colleges use their CMS for online and face-to-face classes and we have negotiated for entire college adoption of Canvas, not just for online courses. There is also an option for colleges that choose to use Canvas for the course exchange only.

  • The resource site can be found at
  • Frequently asked questions about this process are available at the OEI site at
  • My blog posts give a good history of the OEI over the last nine months and will be updated monthly at
  • If you have general questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • If you would like one of us to visit your campus, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pat James is the Executive Director of the
California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative