Whereas, There is significant attention to the potential for online and distance education to improve access to California community colleges from both the Governor and the Legislature;
Whereas, Title 5 §58003.1(f)(1) requires that the weekly student contact hours (WSCH) for credit distance education (DE) courses be determined by the credit units awarded for the course, not the actual student contact hours used for attendance accounting for the equivalent on-site credit courses;
Whereas, Using credit units instead of actual student contact hours for attendance accounting results in less FTES generated by DE courses offered at colleges on compressed calendars than FTES generated by their equivalent on-site courses, resulting in less apportionment received per DE course for the same cost of instruction as the equivalent on-site credit courses; and
Whereas, This resulting disparity in apportionment to colleges on compressed calendars may result in de facto financial penalties for those colleges, and discourages the offering of sections of distance education courses needed to meet the demand of the communities they serve;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support regulatory changes that allow attendance accounting for all credit distance education courses to be based on the student contact hours stipulated in the course outline of record rather than on the credit units, in alignment with the attendance accounting methods for the equivalent onsite credit courses.
The Online Education Committee brought forward a proposal at the January 2015 Executive Committee meeting to revise Title 5 to address this resolution. This has been carried forward to 5C for further review. Will be forwarded to legal counsel. 2017 - 18: The chair will work with the 5C co-chair to determine the status of this resolution and provide a timeline for completion.