November 26, 2012, 2:29 pm
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools is investigating two more institutions over their use of accelerated courses, The Chronicle has learned.
The commission sent letters this month to Cloud County Community College, in Kansas, and Adams State University, in Colorado, requiring those institutions to prepare detailed reports describing their shortened-format courses, which have helped many athletes stay eligible for sports.
Earlier this month, the commission announced an investigation into Western Oklahoma State College, which was the focus of a Chronicle article detailing how thousands of college athletes have used its 10-day classes to help maintain NCAA eligibility. The American Association of Community Colleges has also raised concerns.
Higher Learning Commission representatives plan to visit Western Oklahoma early next year. …
November 15, 2012, 2:36 pm
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools announced on Thursday that it planned to investigate Western Oklahoma State College and its use of accelerated courses.
The move follows a Chronicle report detailing how thousands of college athletes have used the college’s 10-day classes to help maintain their eligibility to compete in NCAA sports. In a written statement, the commission said the article had “raised serious questions about the rigor of these courses, their appropriateness as college-level courses within a college curriculum, and the award of three semester hours of credit.”
The commission said it was also concerned about the marketing of those courses to athletes across the country, and the college’s apparent reliance on the classes to close possible gaps in its revenues.
Western Oklahoma, a two-year institution in Altus,…
November 14, 2012, 3:11 pm
“Attention Coaches & Student Athletes!,” a brochure from Northeast Texas Community College reads. “Need a class to maintain eligibility? Our Intersession classes will help get players back in the game in no time.”
If you’re an academic adviser or coach, chances are you’ve seen brochures like this one, which someone sent me after reading my article on Western Oklahoma State College.
Unlike Western Oklahoma, which estimates that it has attracted thousands of college athletes to its controversial two-week courses, Northeast Texas is a much smaller player. Its 12-day “intersession” classes enroll about 200 students a year.
The community college hopes to double that number by focusing on college athletes, Anna Ingram, dean of distance education, said in an interview on Wednesday. This month Northeast Texas sent letters and brochures to more than 1,000 coaches, academic advisers, …
November 13, 2012, 11:30 am
Alan Brinkley, a professor of American history at Columbia University, has never taught an online course and doesn’t spend much time thinking about who reads his books. One of those books, The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People (McGraw-Hill), is required reading for a two-week course in a controversial online program.
The course, “American History (1865-present),” is one of about 30 offered in a 10-day format by Western Oklahoma State College, a rural community college whose online classes have become popular with athletes. (I profile the college here.)
In the preface of his book, Professor Brinkley notes that scholars have concerns over the growing amount of material they must cover in teaching American history. As a result, he writes, many instructors have opted for briefer volumes that provide basic information, and have supplemented those texts with…