College's distance learning offering expanded and students get more classes through state OEI

Taft College is joining a statewide community college online educational consortium that will allow the college to grow its online enrollment and offer TC's own online students a chance to take classes from other state community colleges.

TC is one of 33 colleges accepted into the California Community College Online Education Initiative Consortium, TC Academic Senate President Geoffrey Dyer said.

Dyer and TC Distance Learning Coordinator Dan Hall updated the West Kern Community College District Board on the college's current online offering and what it can now offer to help both the college and current and future students.

Through the Online Education Initiative (OEI), TC can now enroll students in other state community college districts in their online course offerings, and TC students can now have access to other college courses as well. TC would still be credited for the enrollments.

Accessories and support to the TC online education that the college once had to pay for are now free, Hall and Dyer said.

That includes online tutoring, proctoring for tests, the Cranium Cafe for online faculty advising and other support.
TC paid $18,000 just for Cranium Cafe, Dyer said.
TC is already heavily involved in online education and more than a third - 35 percent - of its FTES (Full-time Equivalent Students) come from online enrollments compared to just over 12 percent of all community colleges in the state.

"We believe online enrollment is something we do well," Dyer told the Board last week.

Now, it can do it even better through the OEI, and that's good for TC, Dyer said.

"It is a possibility to contribute to growth and stability of the college," Dyer said.