Capitol Alert

California Community Colleges updates online education portal

California Virtual Campus website
California Virtual Campus website

The frenzied buzz around online education has faded, but California colleges are still seeking to take advantage of the platform in their efforts to boost student completion rates. On Monday, the community college system unveiled an update of the California Virtual Campus, its catalog of online classes and degree programs, aimed at helping students earn more transferable credits.

“We really have a responsibility, if we're going to do that kind of work (with online education), to provide the support services to make students as successful as they can” be, California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said.

The upgraded catalog highlights courses approved for an Associate Degree for Transfer, which guarantee admission to a California State University campus. Those pathways have been developed in recent years to improve transfer rates to four-year institutions, which hover around 40 percent for community college students pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

The benefit is twofold, according to Pat James, executive director of the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative – more guidance for online students, who generally have worse completion rates, and a new resource for students who are having trouble accessing classes on their home campus to finish faster.

“It's really our hope that we improve that completion all the way around, from every angle,” James said.

Alexei Koseff: (916) 321-5236, @akoseff