Conditional Support for SB 547 (Block) Public Post-Secondary Education: Online Courses

AS-3125-13/FGA

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) support the goals of SB 547 (Block) of facilitating student transfer; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU commend the author for his recognition that the primary responsibility for course development rests with the faculty who are best positioned to identify whether online courses in areas defined as “high demand transferable lower-division courses under the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum” constitute an appropriate solution to improving student matriculation; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU recognize that concerted efforts are already underway in all three segments of higher education – University of California (UC), California State University (CSU), and the California Community Colleges (CCC) – to increase online offerings to matriculated students; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU support the current collaborative efforts of the faculty across the three higher education segments that facilitate student transfer and maintain academic standards that are tailored to the needs of their matriculated students; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU conditionally support SB 547, provided that, (1) the identification and development of online courses be led by the faculty of their respective segments working in conjunction with their academic senates, and (2) that the issue of the approval and offering of such courses across the segments be contingent upon careful consideration of the effects of intra-segmental implementation; and be it further

RESOLVED:  That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Board of Trustees; Chancellor Timothy White; CSU campus Presidents; campus Senate Chairs; California Faculty Association (CFA); Academic Senate CCC; Academic Senate UC; Senator Block.

RATIONALE: SB 547 (Block) would require the academic senates of the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to jointly develop and identify online courses that would be made available to students of each of the three segments for enrollment by the fall of 2014. The bill would require online courses to be in areas defined as high demand transferable lower-division courses under the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum and to be deemed to meet the lower division transfer and degree requirements for the three segments.  SB 547 (Block) would require the board of governors to create an Internet portal through the California Virtual Campus that facilitates enrollment in the online courses.

The Cal State Online (CSO) Online Education initiative and ongoing campus projects offer access to numerous online courses that have been developed by our faculty and these will soon be made available to students throughout the CSU system.   Additionally, the Governor’s January budget earmarks $10 million from the CSU core budget to increase online offerings for “high demand” courses. Additionally, the Chancellor’s Office has allocated an additional $7.2 million to promote student success programs that further the California State University Graduation Initiative priorities to eligible campuses.   CSU anticipates using these funds to develop and support additional undergraduate online courses for its students, particularly in high enrollment, lower-division courses that are in greatest demand at our campuses.  CSU has just issued an Request For Proposal (RFP) for new course proposals that underscores the system’s commitment to maximizing access, reducing time to degree, improving graduation rates and most importantly, shrinking the achievement gap.   CSU’s ability to implement these initiatives in online education depends largely on the availability of continued funding to accomplish these goals. Online instruction does not reduce the costs of obtaining a degree. The development and dissemination of online courses cannot be accomplished without continued financial support if CSU is to maintain its commitment to quality, as well as access.

Approved – May 16-17, 2013

 



 
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