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Media Room

Date: 7/08/2019

Maryville College joins College Consortium for online learning

Through a partnership with online course-sharing platform College Consortium, 18 Maryville College students are taking at least one of 27 faculty-approved courses offered this summer.

The College joined College Consortium following a recommendation by the College’s Online Task Force and approval by the College’s faculty. First organized in fall 2018 by Interim Vice President and Dean of the College Dr. Dan Klingensmith, the task force was charged with assessing ways for the College to enter the online learning environment.

While technology is incorporated throughout students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences, Maryville College previously has not offered entire courses online for credit. With College Consortium, MC students have access to such courses developed by instructors at other institutions but judged equivalent to MC courses by MC faculty members. Tuition (which is split between MC and host institutions) is comparable to fees for traditional summer courses offered on campus, in person. Credits and grades from courses taken through the Consortium transfer back to MC.

“We’re only doing this as a pilot project for now,” Klingensmith said, adding that he will be assessing the program when summer courses are completed. “I think it especially appeals to students who don’t live close to the College and so aren’t in a position to take a summer school course.”

The dean said he thought students with ambitious plans for double majors or multiple minors could be well-served by the summer online courses, as well as students who need to improve their grades and students who, for whatever reason, had to withdraw from a class before the end of a semester.

“Through the College Consortium, we can offer students access to online courses that can help them keep on track and graduate on time,” Klingensmith explained. “Instead of waiting several months to retake a course, in many cases the Consortium will help them retake it much sooner.”

The dean said he first heard about College Consortium through the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC), which recently developed an arrangement with the education technology company. To date, approximately 160 CIC schools partner with College Consortium for online course-sharing. More than 9,000 courses are offered.

This summer, courses in six divisions are available to MC students and range from elementary Spanish to statistical analysis of business. If the pilot goes well, Klingensmith said interested MC faculty will be trained on how to develop and deliver online courses that can be offered to MC students and through the consortium.

“Since our founding in 1819, we have endeavored to graduate individuals who will be lifelong learners,” he said. “We know that online courses are – and will continue to be – the way most 21st century students continue their education and stay current in their field. And we also know that a majority of our current students are interested in taking courses online.

“As an institution, we want to make sure that we are preparing students for effective lifelong learning and citizenship in the digital age and that our pedagogy reflects Maryville College values.”