The California Community Colleges announced on Monday that it has revamped its Web-based catalog of online courses to make it easier to find classes that qualify for transfer to the California State University system.
The catalog, known as the California Virtual Campus, provides information on more than 2,500 courses that satisfy Associate Degree for Transfer requirements and 1,400 more academic degree programs offered online, according to the community colleges. In all, the catalog features 19,000 online courses in California offered by the community colleges, CSU, UC and private colleges, and is available to students at all of these institutions.
“We’re very pleased to share that the refresh of the catalog offers a better online student experience to find those Associate Degree for Transfer courses, identify where the courses are available and ultimately register to successfully complete that course,” said Steve Klein, the statewide director for the community college system’s Online Education Initiative, during a press briefing on Monday.
Klein said search priorities can be set to find transferable courses right off the bat, and those courses each feature an icon denoting them, Klein said. The catalog also can be searched by school, educational segment, degree level and more.
The online catalog also incorporates website accessibility standards and responsive design for all devices, among other features.
Over 29 percent of all California community college students will take a class offered through distance education this year, up from 12.5 percent a decade ago, according to data provided by the California Community Colleges. Approximately 2.1 million students attend community college across the state.
Pat James, executive director of the Online Education Initiative (OEI), said it’s been exciting to see the catalog refresh take shape. She said it’s a first step toward the creation of a true virtual campus in California.
The OEI is a collaborative effort among the California community colleges to increase student success and completion online. Completion and retention rates online are about 10 or 12 percent points lower than classroom education, James said.
Twenty-four colleges are currently engaged in OEI pilot activities, James said. The pilots include 24/7 tutoring and a course exchange among campuses called Canvas, and a new course management system, James said.
“I’m starting to see collaboration across the [community college] system that I’ve never seen before,” James said.
This story was originally published by Techwire, a sister publication to the Center for Digital Education.