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Alabama College System Implements Canvas LMS Statewide

The Alabama Community College System will make Canvas and other Instructure products available to all students in its 24 public community and technical colleges by fall 2024.

a digital concept image of different types of student data over a tablet
Shutterstock/Blue Planet Studio
In an effort to modernize and put its member institutions on the same page, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) is rolling out Instructure’s Canvas learning management system (LMS) statewide.

According to a news release, 12 colleges in the ACCS system have been using Canvas since 2021, but the new implementation will make it and other Instructure products available to students of all 24 public community and technical colleges in Alabama by fall 2024. It noted that the goal is to make it easier for students to access online resources and for administrators to make changes and address problems at scale more easily.

“Anything that Alabama’s community and technical colleges can do to consistently deliver higher education and training in an accessible way that leads our residents to finding their best success is why we exist,” Chancellor Jimmy Baker said in a public statement. “We have seen through our academic programs and work-based learning programs, such as Skills for Success and Alabama Career Essentials, that a resident’s ability to start their student experience on one platform opens the door to a wealth of other training opportunities throughout our community and technical colleges across the state.”

In addition to Canvas, the news release said, the state’s colleges will get access to Impact by Instructure, a data and analytics tool that evaluates the impact of other ed-tech tools. It said through data from Impact, administrators and instructors can make informed decisions about which tools or educational programs to adopt, keep or dispose of. The news release said this could also help students complete degrees faster by allowing them to take any program at any institution within the system.

“As a unified system of community colleges, utilization of a common learning-management system makes sense,” Cynthia Anthony, president of Lawson State Community College, said in a public statement. “One of our goals is to eliminate barriers that hinder seamless student experiences. I think a single LMS is a win-win for our students and colleges. We must look at the big picture and remain laser-focused on student success.”

According to the announcement, the new implementation of Canvas works in line with the goals of the ACCS Innovation Center, which brings together the state’s community colleges, businesses and community partners to offer non-credit training for some of the state’s most in-demand career fields.

“The strategic decision for the Alabama Community College System to have a standardized learning-management system will simplify the learning process for students that take classes at different community colleges or transfer to another system college, which is significant,” said Todd Shackett, president of Southern Union State Community College, in a public statement. “Additionally, it will allow colleges to more easily share faculty and curriculum across schools for better service and more efficiency.”