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Online Education Initiative participates in U.S. Department of Education symposium, "Sustaining the Momentum for Innovation in Higher Education," held at the White House, Nov. 15, 2016.In recent weeks, the California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI) has received recognition for leadership and innovation for achievements related to implementation of the OEI online education ecosystem.

With guidance and collaboration between the OEI Steering Committee, OEI Consortium pilot colleges and various stakeholders and partners, the OEI has made tremendous progress in developing and deploying technology platforms, student success resources, course quality enhancements and faculty professional development opportunities with the goal of increasing online student success, retention and quality.

For example, deployment of the Canvas common course management system (CCMS) is several years ahead of schedule, with 98 colleges in various phases of implementation; online tutoring and counseling resources have been deployed; and innovations surrounding academic integrity and student equity are underway.

Recently, the OEI has been recognized by several notable entities as an emerging model for collaboration and cost-savings at scale.

White House Invite

Last month, Joseph Moreau, OEI Executive Sponsor, and Jory Hadsell, OEI Chief Academic Affairs Officer, were invited to participate in a symposium hosted by The White House in Washington, D.C. The Nov. 15 event, hosted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, featured higher education innovators from around the nation focused on identifying scalable higher education models that improve quality and reduce cost through innovation.

Pat James accepts the Online Learning Consortium's Frank Mayadas Leadership Award in Online Education, November 2016.Department of Education Undersecretary Ted Mitchell was on hand, as were other top administration officials. Additionally, a preview of the National Educational Technology Plan (NETP) – Higher Education Supplement was given. The NETP, which will be released prior to the end of the Obama administration, will specifically highlight various achievements of the OEI.

Online Learning Consortium Award

On Nov. 17, Pat James, OEI Executive Director, received the Frank Mayadas Leadership Award in Online Education from the Online Learning Consortium at the annual OLC Accelerate conference in Orlando, Fla. James was nominated based on her outstanding work and advocacy on behalf of the OEI and its emergence as a model for enhancing student access via online learning opportunities.

Forbes Covers OEI

On Oct. 14, Forbes profiled the OEI in an online article titled “California’s new playbook for online education.” In particular, Forbes highlighted the bottom-up and collaborative approach, and noted the lack of heavy marketing presence for the OEI.

The author recognized the OEI for breaking new ground and emerging as a model that California and other states may be able to emulate with their statewide online efforts.

Online Education Initiative receives CHESS Focus on Efficiency award, October 2016.CHESS Award

On Oct. 4, the OEI was awarded the California Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS) “Focus on Efficiency” Award for excellence in providing the California Community Colleges with opportunities to leverage consistent and affordable student support services and platforms at scale. The OEI currently funds an ecosystem of online tools for 24 pilot colleges, while also providing all 113 colleges with access to fully funded tools, such as online tutoring and online counseling platforms, while leveraging the collective purchasing power of the system through the Foundation for California Community Colleges to create deep vendor discounts for non-pilot colleges.

Inside Higher Education Article

On Oct. 13, an Inside Higher Education article featured information regarding the history of the OEI and development of the OEI Course Exchange. The article exposed readers to the potential of the exchange to help students find online courses they need to complete their educational goals, and the ability for colleges to have real-time access to enrollment and cross-registration data.

Pat James and Jory Hadsell highlighted the ways the exchange can enhance the ability of the CCC to be more responsive in meeting student needs.

“We have to look at one student in California as a student of ours, no matter where they live,” James stated in the article.

e-Literate TV Interviews

James and Anna Stirling, Director of @ONE, were recently interviewed by Phil Hill of e-Literate as part of a video series exploring successful course management system evaluation and selection processes. In particular, the interviewers were interested in the experience of the OEI’s Common Course Management System Committee and the adoption of Canvas.

e-Literate video interview with the CCC Online Education Initiative

In all, it’s been a busy time for the initiative. While the current focus is on getting the first phase of the digital processes for the Course Exchange tested and implemented, the success of the ecosystem resource provisioning is being noticed!


Jory Hadsell is Chief Academic Officer of
the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative