Regis University has one of the most successful online learning programs in the country. The School of Professional Studies, led by Dean Bill Husson, has for years provided high quality distance learning opportunities for adults. Now the school is making its online courses and programs available to other private institutions. The article excerpted below explains the innovative consortium assembled by Regis to help other institutions serve adult students.
New Online Option for Private Colleges
By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, December 29, 2005
Regis University last week announced the creation of a new consortium — already with 39 members and growing — to allow private colleges to essentially trade courses online. While there are already numerous alliances offering distance education and universities offering entire degrees online, the new consortium is designed for smaller private colleges — a sector of higher education that has been relatively slow (in many cases intentionally) to embrace distance education. The group aims to let colleges that have little or no distance presence begin to offer courses, while maintaining curricular control and holding on to current students who desire to have some of their education online. Member institutions will be able to designate any distance course offered by any other member of the consortium as their own, so students need not worry about transfer credit. Because institutions can decide course by course which offerings to make their own, college faculties maintain control of their curriculums and can decide how much distance education they want available to their students. Financially, the arrangement is very simple — members pay a small fee to join (currently $2,500, but likely to go up a bit in March). Students pay the same per-credit tuition they would if the course had been created at their own institution, but the home institution and the college that created the course split — roughly equally — that tuition revenue. The institution offering the course is responsible for all costs, from faculty salaries to staffing a helpdesk. The institution where the student is formally enrolled collects the tuition and awards the credit. There is a key limit also placed on the program: All courses offered will be aimed at adults with at least three years of work experience. Read more ...