Within 5 years, a substantial number--perhaps the majority--of students in California higher education will be taking completely online courses as a regular component of their educational experience.
California Virtual College
- The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum now is completely online, which means students can take their transfer curriculum from anywhere in the state. Two colleges, Cerro Coso and Foothill, offer online AA degrees. The geographical boundaries associated with the idea of a "community" college have been transcended. California Virtual College is a de facto reality.
- Community colleges no longer will serve only the students in their community. Their local students also will take online courses from colleges throughout the state. Students will select courses based on the criteria significant to them--content, mode of delivery, instructor, etc.
- The Community Colleges with Online programs will teach the majority of lower division Virtual GE courses for the State. Large numbers of UC/CSU students will enroll concurrently in Community College Online lower division GE courses for economic and scheduling reasons.
- Instead of focusing on possible competition between schools offering online courses, we should view the emerging State Virtual College as substantially increasing alternatives for Californians to pursue higher education. Although some students may choose to take their whole lower-division GE online, the majority will mix and match traditional courses at their local campuses with online courses. The availability of completely online courses will substantially accelerate students' progress towards a four-year degree.
California Virtual University General Education
California Virtual General Education Consortium
- Although California has a Virtual College, it does not have a Virtual University. The problems of creating completely online degree programs are considerably more difficult than offering lower-division General Education courses, which can be loosely packaged in IGETC. Creating online versions of majors in the sciences or in the performing arts is a daunting challenge. California Virtual University, granting the hundreds of different degrees currently offered in the UC and CSU, is not likely in the near-future.
- However, Virtual University upper-division General Education can quickly become a reality. The CSU and UC should offer completely online upper-division General Education courses so students can fullfill their upper-division GE requirements as they now can complete their lower-division GE through the Community Colleges. Students should have the option of taking upper-division General Education courses from any California public university that offers Online programs. See: CSUN's Upper-division GE--Fall 2000.
- The three segments of higher education should form a California Virtual General Education Consortium to coordinate Online General Education.
- The Consortium would maintain an online catalog of all California Virtual General Education courses. Currently, the California Virtual Campus offers a catalog of Web-based courses and College of the Desert maintains California CC's Online Learning Sites. However, neither collection identifies completely online courses as a separate category, nor organizes online courses within the IGETC framework. Northridge has created a prototype Online IGETC database which makes the Community College courses easily accessible, and Online CSU, a Website that provides access to the completely online courses within the CSU. The UC does not appear to be offering any regular courses competely online at this time.
- The Consortium would provide comprehensive virtual advisement to help students select General Education courses that best meets their individual needs and interests.
- The Consortium would invest resources in training programs and incentives for faculty to develop and teach Online General Education courses.
The Web Project